Athletes search for love and pickup lines

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Everyone hears the rumours about promiscuous varsity athletes using their status to pick up. Gazette Pulse spoke to several Mustangs athletes and Western psychology professors to get the skinny.

“There are so many girls that flock to you when they hear that you are on the team, but I don’t particularly like that,” football player Craig Betler says.

According to his teammate Vaughn Martin, it is an unspoken rule no one uses being on the football team as a pickup line.

“I will be the first to punch my teammate in the face if I hear him using that line at the bar,” Martin says.

The players also discussed promiscuity.

“When it comes to promiscuity ... most guys I have met, [and] not just [those] on the football team, have that attitude,” Betler agrees.

“Guys encourage promiscuity among each other,” Martin adds.

“There are perhaps many reasons for this,” Lorne Campbell, a Western psychology professor specializing in sexual relationships, says. “But evolutionary psychologists have demonstrated men are more likely to seek out short-term sexual liaisons, and take advantage of them when they appear, than are women.”

Not all varsity athletes favor promiscuity, however; some struggle with concepts of love just like other students.

Glenn Chambers, a member of the men’s soccer team has been with his girlfriend for five months and said ‘I love you’ after four.

“I really think I am in love because I cannot see myself without being with her,” Chambers says.

Some people feel as though four months is a little too soon to say ‘I love you.’ But, Jim Olson, a psychology professor at Western and social psychologist, has no doubt Chambers is in love.

He differentiates though between two different types of love.

“One of the primary distinctions is between what is called passionate love and companionate love,” Olson says. “Passionate [love] is what most people think of when they say that they are in love; it involves strong feelings of attraction, you want to be with that individual all the time [and] you think about them constantly, whereas companionate love takes a little bit more time.”

With the ups in relationships come the downs, and for many this makes the single life the way to go.

“I am not in a relationship anymore, so I don’t have to worry about the secret fights you have with each other about stupid things ... you can hang out with your friends more without making excuses,” Andrew Bain, another football player, explains.

Bain takes a humourous view of his status as a varsity athlete.

“Some of my friends and I tell people we are on the badminton team just for fun.”

But are women really more attracted to athletes?

According to Olson, “I think anyone, male or female, desires successful and popular members who are also physically attractive. Varsity [athletes] may be that and maybe some women would like to be paired with them and there are many other women that would choose other types of partners, such as someone funny or more of an academic.”

Campbell explains the effect may be more instinctual, meaning females seek out partners for reproductive purposes.

“Some research has shown that women’s preferences for short-term partners are the same as men’s " they focus on physical appeal.”

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