How Low Will Men with High Self-Esteem Go? Self-Esteem as a Moderator of Gender Differences in Minimum Relationship Standards
Men tend to establish minimum standards that are similar to those of women for high investment relationships (e.g., marriage) but set lower standards for rela- tionships requiring less investment (e.g., a one-night stand). The purpose of the present study was to examine whether self-esteem moderates these gender differences in minimum standards for romantic relationships. This was accomplished by conducting a cross-sectional study with under- graduate participants (57 men and 124 women) from the southern region of the United States. Participants completed a self-esteem measure and reported their minimum stand- ards for partners across various levels of relational involvement. As predicted, high self-esteem was associated with higher standards for low investment relationships among women but lower standards among men.