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Sex Differences in Same-Sex Direct Aggression and Sociosexuality: The Role of Risky Impulsivity

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Abstract

Sex differences in same-sex direct aggression and sociosexuality are among the most robust in the literature. The present article evaluated the hypothesis that both can be explained by a sex difference in the willingness to take impulsive risks. Self-report data were gathered from 3,775 respondents (1,514 female) on same-sex aggression, sociosexuality, and risky impulsivity. Risky impulsivity was higher for men than for women (d = .34) and path analysis showed it to be a common cause of same-sex aggression and sociosexuality for both sexes. However, it did not completely mediate the sex differences in same-sex aggression and sociosexuality. The results suggest that same-sex aggression and sociosexual behavior share a common psychological mechanism, but that fully explaining sex differences in aggression requires a more sensitive assay of impulsive risk and a consideration of dyadic processes.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-792
Number of pages14
JournalEvolutionary Psychology
Volume8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • direct aggression, impulsivity, risk taking, sex differences, sociosexuality, GENDER-DIFFERENCES, VIOLENCE, WOMEN, COMPETITIVENESS, METAANALYSIS, PERSONALITY, ESCALATION, CHILDHOOD, SEXUALITY, EVOLUTION

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