Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures

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Differences in Relationships Between Western and Non-Western Cultures

Most of the research on interpersonal attraction has been carried out in Western societies, especially the United Kingdom and United States. This limitation is very important as it argues that the behaviour and communication need to be understood within the context in which they occur, and this context considerably differs from one culture to another. Therefore we can readily accept that there are large differences in interpersonal relationships between cultures.

Its quite easy to assume that what is true in our own culture about interpersonal attraction is likely to be true in other cultures as well. However, the factors
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However, this is contrary to some conclusions made by psychologist studying socio-biology that have found that most men of most cultures find the 'hour-glass' shape attractive as it is shows a woman to be fertile. One consistency has been found cross-culturally. David Buss (1994) found that men tend to value physical attractiveness and favour a younger partner, whereas women prefer status and favour an older partner. This is all consistent with the theory of socio-biology.

In North America and Western Europe homosexuality is generally accepted, however, in some countries it is illegal. In East Bay, Melanesia, it is encouraged to the extent that during adolescence a father will choose an older male partner for his son to educate him in sexual techniques (Davenport 1965). In most of North America and Western Europe, it is believed that women have the same right to derive pleasure from sex as men, but the Chiricahua Apache Indians believe it is wrong for women to show and emotion before or during sexual activities (Ford and Beach 1951). Men from a village in Mexico try to avoid arousing their wife because they believe a sexually passive wife is more likely to remain faithful (Lewis 1960).

There are even major differences in love between cultures. Lee (1973) developed six styles of love; game-playing (Ludus), possessive (Mania), logical (Pragma), altruistic
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