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Sex differences in mating strategies: Mate guarding, infidelity and multiple concurrent sex partners

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We investigated sex differences in post-copulatory mate guarding behaviors, jealous reactions to opposite- versus same-sex infidelity, and preferences for multiple concurrent sex partners. Results of a questionnaire administered to 448 college students showed that: (1) females were more likely to initiate the practice of sleeping with their partner after sexual intercourse; (2) males were more distressed by opposite-sex infidelity, whereas females were equally distressed by both opposite- and same-sex infidelity; and (3) males were more willing than females to engage in sex with multiple concurrent partners. Under hypothetical conditions, males preferred having concurrent sex with two female partners, while females showed a more varied preference for the sexes of the other participants. These findings are consistent with predictions derived from evolutionary theory based upon sex differences in genetic assurance, parental investment and reproductive potential.

Keywords: infidelity; jealousy; mate guarding; sex differences; threesome

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2004

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