When a "poach" is not a poach: re-defining human mate poaching and re-estimating its frequency.Arch Sex Behav. 2007 Oct; 36(5):702-16.AS
For a romantic attraction to be considered a mate poach, the pursuer must be aware that, while attempting to attract the targeted individual, the target is already in a nominally exclusive relationship. We investigated a methodological alternative for investigating the frequency of mate poaching. We presented university students with a survey informed by a definition of poaching that, in contrast to that which informed previous surveys, explicitly stated that the poacher must be aware while pursuing the targeted individual that the target was already in an exclusive relationship. Relative to participants in previous research, the current participants reported fewer experiences with poaching. We concluded that the current survey reduced the likelihood of participants reporting experiences with non-poaching forms of romantic attraction as experiences with poaching, and thereby provided more accurate estimates of the frequency of poaching. We also investigated the frequency of a previously uninvestigated form and temporal context of poaching and used a more fine-grained measure of the frequency of poaching than used in previous research. Discussion addresses limitations of the current research and suggests future directions for addressing them.