Associations between Self-esteem and Experiences from Short-term Dating Contexts
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Sociometer theory holds that self-esteem is like a thermometer constantly monitoring our value as relational partners and how desired we are for social inclusion. Looking to sociometer theory we wanted to investigate the relationship between experiences from a short-term dating context and self-esteem. Based on predictions from sexual strategies theory we also asked the question of how this association may differ for men and women. Findings from the current study indicates that self-esteem in a Norwegian student population is, indeed related to experiences tied to short-term dating. Those who reported being hit on more often than hitting on others showed higher self-esteem scores, than those who reported being hit on fewer times relative to number of times hitting on others. The hypothesized sex-difference in effect is however not supported by the data, indicating that experiences from short-term dating is equally important for both men and women despite the existing sex difference in sexual strategies. Findings are discussed in light of Sociometer theory, previous research on self-esteem and methodical limitations, as well as with regards to theoretical implications and implications for future research.