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<p>Abstract:</p> <p>Compared to men, women have greater minimum obligatory reproduction costs. These costs have strongly influenced female mating psychology, as evident by women's choosiness. In addition to their role in reproduction, desire, arousal, and orgasm function may be mechanisms which help guide female mate acquisition and choice. We propose that stage of mate acquisition, using relationship status as a proxy (single, dating, committed), calibrates levels of sexual function that inform mate acquisition and retention decisions. To test this, 2,301 women completed the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) and indicated their relationship status (single, dating, and committed). The FSFI sub-scales were entered into a MANCOVA controlling for age and relationship duration. Women in committed relationships reported less sexual desire and arousal than women who were single or dating, partnered women reported greater orgasm function than single women, and dating women reported greater satisfaction than both single and committed women. Additionally, sexual functions that were not predicted to vary with stage of mate acquisition, such as pain and lubrication, did not vary with relationship status. These findings supports the hypothesis that female sexual desire and arousal have functions in mate selection and orgasm function may inform mate retention decisions. We discuss these results in the context of reproductive trade-offs and female mate choice.</p>
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