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The Mating Game

The Mating Game
A Primer on Love, Sex, and Marriage

Third Edition

January 2016 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The Third Edition of The Mating Game: A Primer on Love, Sex, and Marriage is the only introductory text about human mating relationships aimed specifically at a university audience. Encompassing a wide array of disciplines, this comprehensive review of theory and empirical research takes an integrated perspective on the fundamental human experiences of attraction and courtship; mate selection and marriage; and love and sex. Strongly grounded in methodology and research design, the book offers relevant examples and anecdotes along with ample pedagogy that will spark debate and discussion on provocative and complex topics.
PART I. Mating Relationships
Chapter 1: Mate Preferences
Theoretical Approaches to Human Mating

Methods Used to Examine Mate Preferences

Empirical Evidence

Continuing Debates

Chapter 2: Attraction, Affiliation, and Courtship
Who Do We Like? Principles of Romantic Attraction

Who Do We Approach? Principles of Romantic Affiliation

How Do We Convey Romantic Interest? Principles of Flirting

E-Courtship: Attraction, Affiliation, and Flirting in Cyberspace

The First Date

Beyond the First Date: Initiating a Romantic Relationship

Pathways to Commitment

Chapter 3: Relationship Development
The Sequence of Relationship Development

The Process of Relationship Development

Chapter 4: Marriage and Mate Selection
Mating Systems Across Cultures

The Nature of Marriage

Division of Labor

Marital Satisfaction: How Happy Are Married Couples?

Has Marriage Changed Over Time?

Same-Sex Marriage

Cohabitation: An Alternative to Marriage

Chapter 5: Conflict and Dissolution

Relationship Dissolution

Chapter 6: Intervention
Identifying Distressed Relationships

Treating Distressed Relationships

Does Therapy Work?

Part II. Love
Chapter 7: General Theories of Love
The Triangular Theory of Love

The Colors (Styles) of Love

The Prototype Approach: Mental Models of Love

Chapter 8: Passionate and Companionate Love
Passionate Love: A “Sexy” Kind of Love

Companionate Love: A “Sturdy” Kind of Love

Chapter 9: Love Gone Bad: Problematic Aspects of Love
Unrequited Passionate Love: When the One We Love Does Not Love Us

Relational Stalking: When Romantic Interest Becomes Obsession

Relational Aggression: When Love Turns Violent

Loss of Passion: When Attraction Fades

Chapter 10: Sexual Attitudes
Beliefs About Sex in Dating Relationships
Beliefs About Sex in Marital Relationships
Chapter 11: Sex in Beginning Relationships
Sexuality and the Attraction Process

Sexuality in Beginning Relationships

Chapter 12: Sex in Established Relationships
Sexual Frequency

Sexual Practices

Sexual Preferences

Sexual Satisfaction

Sexual Communication

Sexuality and Relationship Satisfaction

Chapter 13: Sex Gone Bad: Problematic Aspects of Relational Sex
Sexual Disinterest: When the One We Desire Does Not Desire Us

Sexual Assault: When Sex Becomes Nonconsensual

Sexual Infidelity: When the One We’ve Chosen Cheats

Sexual Jealousy: A Common Response to Infidelity

PART IV. Individual Differences
Chapter 14: Maleness and Femaleness
Biological Sex

Psychological Gender and Gender Role Orientation

Chapter 15: Personality


Sociosexual Orientation

Chapter 16: Interpersonal Belief Systems
Attachment Styles

Rejection Sensitivity




Instructor Resources Site

Instructor Resources

  • An author-created test bank with 500+ multiple-choice questions provides a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.

Broad range of subjects covered

Dr Amanda Grieme Bradley
Psychology, Trevecca Nazarene University
July 18, 2019

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 9

Pamela C. Regan

Pamela Regan is Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota and her undergraduate degree in English from Williams College. Her research interests are in the areas of close relationships and human sexuality, with an emphasis on passionate love, sexual desire, and mate preference. She has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and reviews (and has given over 75 professional presentations) on the dynamics of sex, love, and human mating, and she is the author of Close Relationships (Routledge, 2011), the co-author (with Ellen... More About Author

Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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ISBN: 9781483379210

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