Are You Seeing Him/Her? Mate Choice in Visually Impaired and Blind People

Or Fekler, Ya’Arit Bokek-Cohen, Yoram Braw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We examined whether individuals who are VI (visually impaired; people with low vision or totally blind) choose their romantic partners differently than those who are sighted. The theoretical framework that informed our inquiry is Social Exchange Theory. Fifty-five participants who are VI and fifty-one participants who are sighted were administered mate preference and marital satisfaction questionnaires. Participants who are VI also answered open-ended questions regarding difficulties in finding a suitable mate. Participants who are VI did not significantly differ from participants who are sighted in their rated importance of traits of an ideal romantic partner, as well as their relationship satisfaction. No tradeoff of resources among participants who are VI and their partners was found, i.e. they did not “pay” for their disability by coupling with a partner who has a lower socio-economic status than theirs. Participants who were VI told about their main difficulties in finding a mate and offered proposals to mitigate these difficulties. We conclude by proposing ways to help individuals who are VI to establish intimate relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-483
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Blindness
  • mate choice
  • reading aloud questionnaire
  • romantic relationship
  • social exchange
  • visual impairment


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