Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-Nation Study of Sex, Culture, and Strategies of Human Mating

Department of Psychology, Bradley University, Peona, IL 62625, USA.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences (Impact Factor: 20.77). 04/2005; 28(2):247-75; discussion 275-311. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X05000051
Source: PubMed


The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad 1991) is a self-report measure of individual differences in human mating strategies. Low SOI scores signify that a person is sociosexually restricted, or follows a more monogamous mating strategy. High SOI scores indicate that an individual is unrestricted, or has a more promiscuous mating strategy. As part of the International Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), the SOI was translated from English into 25 additional languages and administered to a total sample of 14,059 people across 48 nations. Responses to the SOI were used to address four main issues. First, the psychometric properties of the SOI were examined in cross-cultural perspective. The SOI possessed adequate reliability and validity both within and across a diverse range of modem cultures. Second, theories concerning the systematic distribution of sociosexuality across cultures were evaluated. Both operational sex ratios and reproductively demanding environments related in evolutionary-predicted ways to national levels of sociosexuality. Third, sex differences in sociosexuality were generally large and demonstrated cross-cultural universality across the 48 nations of the ISDP, confirming several evolutionary theories of human mating. Fourth, sex differences in sociosexuality were significantly larger when reproductive environments were demanding but were reduced to more moderate levels in cultures with more political and economic gender equality. Implications for evolutionary and social role theories of human sexuality are discussed.

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    • "Despite the general existence of sex differences, however, each individual's sociosexual orientation can be influenced by the presence of other men and women in the local environment (Kenrick, Li, & Butner, 2003). For example, environments with more women than men are associated with high rates of female promiscuity (Schmitt, 2005; also Barber, 2001), providing correlational evidence that when men are scarce, women compete with each other by offering sex without requiring high levels of commitment (Baumeister & Vohs, 2004). When people are faced with a favorable sex ratio (they are in the minority sex), they can afford to adopt a strong orientation toward their preferred mating strategy. "
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    ABSTRACT: The operational sex ratio-the ratio of men to women in a given population-affects a range of social processes. The current research demonstrates that biased sex ratios (greater numbers of one sex than the other) influence fundamental aspects of people's mating strategy. When the sex ratio was favorable (one's own sex was in the minority), both sexes adopted strong sex-typical sociosexual orientations (relatively restricted for women; relatively unrestricted for men). When the sex ratio was unfavorable (one's own sex was in the majority), both sexes shifted toward the orientation typically favored by the other sex: Women became more unrestricted and men became more restricted (Experiment 1). When the sex ratio was unfavorable (relative to favorable), participants also displayed greater aggression toward a romantically desirable (but not undesirable) same-sex partner (Experiment 2). Exploratory analyses suggested that the sex ratio effect was present for unprovoked aggression but not provoked aggression (given the exploratory nature of that analysis, the aggression effect should be considered with some caution). Findings suggest that people's mating strategies are adaptively calibrated to contingencies within the local mating ecology.
    Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 10/2015; DOI:10.1177/0146167215612744 · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    • "However, questions have been recently raised about the dimensionality of the questionnaire as well as about the dimensionality of the construct itself. For example, Asendorpf and Penke (2005) made a comment on Schmitt et al.'s (2003, 2005b) International Sexuality Description Project, in which the SOI was used to investigate sexuality in different cultures. They pointed out an issue of heterogeneity of items used to assess sociosexuality. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sociosexuality refers to individual differences in willingness to engage in casual sex without emotional involvement with the partner. One of the most popular measures of sociosexuality is the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI) that was initially constructed as a one-dimensional measure. Although a multidimensional approach has been shown to be more informative, one-dimensional SOI scoring is still used. In this article, we replicate previous findings, using confirmatory procedures, that two-dimensional SOI scoring could be more adequate. Further, we demonstrate the advantages of a two-dimensional SOI structure in investigating relationships between sociosexuality and its personality correlates. These results could provide an incentive for a consensus of using multidimensional measures of sociosexuality.
    Evolutionary Psychology 09/2015; 13(3). DOI:10.1177/1474704915604541 · 1.05 Impact Factor
    • "In order to get insight into human sexual behaviors and desires, researchers often focus on behaviors people have committed, are interested/willing to commit, and attitudes about behaviors (Joyal, Cossette, & Lapierre, 2015; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953; Schmitt, 2005). One aspect of human sexuality appears to have been neglected; erotic talk (aka sex talk, pillow talk, or dirty talk) or communication in the context of sexual encounters. "
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    ABSTRACT: Using a mixed-methods study, we provided the first systematic documentation and exploration of erotic talk. In Study 1 (N = 95), participants provided 569 erotic talk statements in an anonymous online survey, which we classified, using a modified thematic analysis, as being representative of eight themes. In Study 2 (N = 238), we quantified individual differences in these themes, subjected them to factor analysis, and examined the nomological network surrounding them with measures of relationship and sexual satisfaction, sociosexuality, and personality. The eight initial categories represented two higher order factors, which we call individualist talk and mutualistic talk. These factors were orthogonal in factor analysis and distinct in their nomological network. While the majority of people reported using erotic talk, we found few sex differences in its use.
    Archives of Sexual Behavior 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10508-015-0585-2 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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