Do Bullies Have More Sex? The Role of Personality
Daniel A. Provenzano
&Andrew V. Dane
&Ann H. Farrell
&Zopito A. Marini
Anthony A. Volk
#Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017
Abstract Previous research has shown that adolescent bully-
ing is associated with having a higher number of sexual part-
ners. Bullying may thus represent an effective behavior for
increasing the number of sexual partners. However, bullying
may be an effective behavior primarily for adolescents who
possess personality traits that make them willing and able to
use bullying as a strategy for obtaining sexual partners.
Therefore, we predicted that individuals with antisocial per-
sonality traits would be more willing and able to engage in
bullying, which in turn may increase their sexual opportuni-
ties. We tested this hypothesis across the span of adolescence
by using cross-sectional samples of 144 older adolescents
(N= 144; 111 women, M
= 18.32, SD = 0.63) and 396
younger adolescents (N= 396; 230 girls, M
1.52) to test direct and indirect links between HEXACO per-
sonality traits, bullying, and sexual partners. Path analyses
provided some support for our hypothesis. In both samples,
Honesty-Humility personality trait scores had indirect effects
on sexual partners through bullying and direct effects on sex-
ual partners in the younger sample. However, in the older
sample, Agreeableness had indirect effects through bullying
and Extraversion had direct effects, whereas in the younger
sample, Conscientiousness had indirect effects through bully-
ing. Our results suggest that exploitative traits may be
associated with bullying and sexual partners across adoles-
cence. We also note how other personality traits may differen-
tially relate to bullying in older versus younger adolescents.
Keywords Bullying .Adolescents .HEXACO .Personality .
Adolescence is a period marked by the development of sexual
characteristics and the initiation of sexual behavior (Baams
et al. 2015). Sexual behavior during adolescence is fairly
widespread in Western cultures (Zimmer-Gembeck and
Helfland 2008) with nearly two thirds of youth having had
sexual intercourse by the age of 19 (Finer and Philbin 2013).
During adolescence, peer networks expand as youth transition
from same-sex to mixed-sex peer groups (Connolly et al.
2004), which may both foster and be a response to opportuni-
ties for sexual activity. However, some adolescents are more
successful than others in finding sexual partners (de Bruyn
et al. 2012). One reason may be due to their ability to success-
fully engage in intrasexual competition for partners (de Bruyn
et al. 2012; Pellegrini and Long 2003). Bullying behavior may
aid in intrasexual competition and intersexual selection as a
strategy when competing for mates. In line with this conten-
tion, bullying has been linked to having a higher number of
dating and sexual partners (Dane et al. 2017;Volketal.2015).
This may be one reason why adolescence coincides with a
peak in antisocial or aggressive behaviors, such as bullying
(Volk et al. 2006). However, not all adolescents benefit from
bullying. Instead, bullying may only benefit adolescents with
certain personality traits who are willing and able to leverage
bullying as a strategy for engaging in sexual behavior with
opposite-sex peers. Therefore, we used two independent
cross-sectional samples of older and younger adolescents to
*Daniel A. Provenzano
Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Ave,
Windsor, ON N9B 3P4, USA
Department of Psychology, Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock
Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, USA
Department of Child and Youth Studies, Brock University, 1812 Sir
Isaac Brock Way, St. Catharines, ON L2S 3A1, USA
Evolutionary Psychological Science
determine which personality traits, if any, are associated with
leveraging bullying into opportunities for sexual behavior.
Bullying and Sexual Behavior
Traditionally, bullying has been viewed as a maladaptive be-
havior resulting from problems in developmental functioning
(Crick and Dodge 1999). However, the ubiquity of bullying
across cultures (Craig et al. 2009;Volketal.2012), and its
heritability (Ball et al. 2008), suggest that bullying may be, at
least in part, an evolutionary adaptation. Volk et al. (2014)
outline that adolescents may use bullying to obtain reproduc-
tively relevant outcomes that reliably led to survival and re-
production in the ancestral past. Consistent with this research,
recent studies have found that adolescent bullies were more
likely to engage in sexual intercourse and that bullying was
related to having more sexual partners (Dane et al. 2017; Volk
et al. 2015). Previous theory and research suggest that bully-
ing facilitates intrasexual competition and intersexual selec-
tion. For example, bullying by males signal the ability to pro-
vide good genes, material resources, and protect offspring
(Buss and Shackelford 1997;Volketal.2012) because bully-
ing others is a way of displaying attractive qualities such as
strength and dominance (Gallup et al. 2007; Reijntjes et al.
2013). As a result, this makes bullies attractive sexual partners
to opposite-sex peers while simultaneously suppressing the
sexual success of same-sex rivals (Gallup et al. 2011;Koh
and Wong 2015; Zimmer-Gembeck et al. 2001). Females
may denigrate other females, targeting their appearance and
sexual promiscuity (Leenaars et al. 2008; Vaillancourt 2013),
which are two qualities relating to male mate preferences.
Consequently, derogating these qualities lowers a rivals’ap-
peal as a mate and also intimidates or coerces rivals into with-
drawing from intrasexual competition (Campbell 2013; Dane
et al. 2017; Fisher and Cox 2009; Vaillancourt 2013). Thus,
males may use direct forms of bullying (e.g., physical, verbal)
to facilitate intersexual selection (i.e., appear attractive to fe-
males), while females may use relational bullying to facilitate
intrasexual competition, by making rivals appear less attrac-
tive to males. However, though theory and research suggests
bullying may be a tool that facilitates intrasexual competition
and intersexual selection, individual differences in personality
may determine whether adolescents are willing and able to
employ this strategy when competing for mates.
Bullying and Personality
Individual differences in the willingness and ability to use
bullying may be influenced by variations in personality traits
(Connolly and O'Moore 2003). The HEXACO measure of
personality is an evolutionarily informed, six-factor model of
personality that emphasizes potential reproductive associa-
tions with personality (Ashton and Lee 2007). It is similar to
the Big Five factor model, but with greater cross-cultural va-
lidity and more emphasis on differentiating between different
aspects of antisocial traits (Ashton and Lee 2007). Three di-
mensions relate to effort applied to various social, task-related,
and idea-related endeavors (eXtraversion, Conscientiousness,
and Openness to Experience; Ashton and Lee 2007). The
other three dimensions are related to cooperating with, versus
exploiting or antagonizing, others (Honesty-Humility,
Emotionality, and Agreeableness; Ashton and Lee 2001).
The lower poles of these latter three personality dimensions
are associated with unique aspects of antisociality.
A recent meta-analysis of the Big Five factor model re-
vealed that lower Agreeableness, lower Conscientiousness,
higher Extraversion, and higher Neuroticism were associated
with bullying perpetration (Mitsopoulou and Giovazolias
2015). The HEXACO’s Honesty-Humility factor shares little
variance with the Big Five (Lee et al. 2008) and better captures
traits that involve exploitation and deception (Ashton et al.
2000;Booketal.2015;Booketal.2016; Lee and Ashton
2012). Previous studies using the HEXACO have found that
lower levels of Honesty-Humility were the only predictor of
adolescent bullying at the multivariate level, but that lower
degrees of Agreeableness (after controlling for reactive ag-
gression) and lower levels of Emotionality were also corre-
lates at the univariate level (Book et al. 2012; Farrell et al.
2014). These findings indicate that antisocial personality traits
are important in determining whether adolescents engage in
bullying. That is, individuals lower in Honesty-Humility may
be inclined to exploit others for personal gain and use bullying
as a strategy for doing so. Individuals lower in Emotionality
may feel little empathy, increasing the willingness to bully
others to get what they want. Finally, individuals lower in
Agreeableness may be reactive and easily angered, making
bullying a likely retaliatory response to perceived mistreat-
ment. Taken together, shared personality traits may promote
individuals using bullyingas a strategy to facilitate intrasexual
competition and intersexual selection, in order to gain sexual
opportunities (Volk et al. 2014). Moreover, personality may
also directly influence engagement in sexual behavior inde-
pendent of bullying.
Personality and Sexual Behavior
Sexual behavior during adolescence varies due to a num-
ber of individual differences, such as gender, age, physi-
cal appearance, and popularity (Zimmer-Gembeck et al.
2001). We want to focus on another category of individual
differences that may affect adolescent sexual behavior:
personality. Personality appears to be associated directly
with the overall willingness of individuals to engage in
Evolutionary Psychological Science
sexual behavior (Jonason et al. 2009), beyond mecha-
nisms involving bullying. Lower levels of Honesty-
Humility are characterized by the tendency to exploit
and manipulate others for personal gain (Ashton and Lee
2007). Not surprisingly, in light of these defining charac-
teristics, Honesty-Humility predicts higher involvement in
short-term mating behavior, including fast life-history
strategies that focus on immediate rewards and short-
term mating opportunities (Lee et al. 2013; Jonason
et al. 2010), short-term mating orientation (Manson
2015), lower relationship exclusivity (i.e., more likely to
cheat on a partner), and an unrestricted sociosexual orien-
tation toward engagement in casual sex (Bourdage et al.
2007). As a result, individuals lower in Honesty-Humility
are unlikely to find themselves in long-term relationships
that require reciprocity (Foster et al. 2006), since others
view their lack of commitment as an undesirable trait in a
long-term mating partner (Jonason et al. 2009). Thus,
having an exploitative or opportunistic disposition may
help in securing short-term relationships, including sexual
partners (Jonason et al. 2009). However, while the ex-
ploitative tendencies of those lower in Honesty-Humility
is not found in the lower poles of both Emotionality (i.e.,
lacking empathy) and Agreeableness (i.e., reactive anger;
Ashton and Lee 2007), the antisocial tendencies associat-
ed with these two HEXACO factors may still help to gain
sexual access to mates.
Individuals with lower degrees of Emotionality are
characterized by a tendency to feel little empathy and
attachment toward others (Ashton and Lee 2007).
Therefore, it is not surprising that people who are lower
in Emotionality adopt short-term mating strategies, in-
cluding variants of promiscuity and infidelity (Lee et al.
2013;Manson2015). These individuals are able to be-
have in sexually opportunistic ways, such as having
extra-dyadic affairs without being inhibited by the guilt
of betraying their partner (Shimberg et al. 2016).
Difficulties in the ability to experience empathy is associ-
ated with characteristics such as exploitativeness and en-
titlement (Watson and Morris 1991), with individuals
possessing these traits being more likely to ignore the
feelings of others, or even their own emotional connec-
tions with others, when engaging in sexual behavior
(Marshall et al. 1995; Wheeler et al. 2002). In addition,
individuals lower in Emotionality may also be more will-
ing to engage in risky sexual behaviors (e.g., casual and
unprotected sex) given that Emotionality is negatively as-
sociated with sensation seeking and linked to a lack of
anxiety (de Vries et al. 2009). High sensation seekers
are more likely to engage in sexual risk taking because
of the thrill and lack of fear associated with having mul-
tiple sexual partners (Hoyle et al. 2000). Consistent with
this notion, the fear, dependence, and sentimentality facets
of Emotionality were inversely related to a short-term
mating orientation, suggesting a predisposition to reckless
and independent fast life-history strategies (Manson
2015). Thus, it is reasonable to expect that individuals
lower in Emotionality may report more sexual behavior.
Lower Agreeableness is characterized by the tendency to
be reactive, unforgiving, and impatient (Ashton and Lee
2007). Similar to Emotionality, Agreeableness does not em-
body an exploitative nature but still contains antisocial tenden-
cies that may help secure sexual benefits. The low end of both
HEXACO and Big Five Agreeableness characterizes a diffi-
culty getting along with others (Ashton et al. 2014), which
may explain why both variants of Agreeableness were previ-
ously related to short-term mating (Lee et al. 2013;Schmitt
and Shackelford 2008). For example, lower Agreeableness is
linked to conflict in long-term relationships (Buss 1991).
Individuals lower in Agreeableness may find it especially dif-
ficult to be in a long-term relationship because they do not
get along with their partner (Schmitt 2005). Therefore, being
quick to anger may contribute to having more short-term sex-
ual partners. In sum, the data in the literature suggests that
antisocial traits may translate into having more sexual partners
through antisocial behavior such as bullying, but these traits
can also be directly related to having more sexual partners
above and beyond bullying (see Table 1for a summary of
Thus, while some personality traits may be adaptive to
the extent that they relate to improved mating success, it is
unclear if this is only a direct relationship with those traits
and/or if this may be because individuals with antisocial
tendencies indirectly use bullying as a strategy for
obtaining sexual partners. Although previous research has
already explored direct links between personality and sex-
ual behavior (discussed above), we also wanted to know
indirect mechanisms (such as bullying) through which ad-
olescents engage in more sexual behavior. To test the ve-
racity of either of these options, we examined the direct
effects of the HEXACO personality traits, as well as any
potential indirect effects, by bullying behaviors in samples
of older and younger adolescents. As a result, we predicted
that only the antisocial traits, that is, lower levels of
Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, and Agreeableness,
would have significant indirect effects on the number of
sexual partners through bullying perpetration. We also ex-
pected that individuals with antisocial characteristics may
have more sexual opportunities because of their willing-
ness to use effective behaviors such as bullying (indirect
effects), and that these same characteristics might also be
directly associated with achieving mating success indepen-
dent of bullying (direct effects; see Table 1for a summary
of predictions). We used two independent samples to test
these predictions to determine if converging evidence
existed for the reproductive function of bullying at a
Evolutionary Psychological Science
developmental period when sexual activity begins (youn-
ger adolescence) and at a developmental period when sex-
ual activity is more prevalent (older adolescence).
Study 1: Older Adolescents The sample of older adolescents
comprised of first-year undergraduate students (N= 144; 111
= 18.32, SD
= 0.63), who were recruited
through campus posters and an online subject pool at a uni-
versity in southern Ontario. The subject pool gathers partici-
pants from psychology courses that consist of mostly women.
Thus, class composition explains why there were a smaller
number of men. Participants were Caucasian (75.2%), Asian
(6.2%), Middle-Eastern (2.8%), and African-Canadian
(5.5%). Participants also reported “Other”for ethnicity
(9.0%), or did not report any ethnicities (1.4%). The majority
of participants reported their family’s socio-economic status
(SES) to be “about the same”(60.0%) in wealth as the average
Canadian, whereas fewer reported “more wealthy”(22.1%) or
“less wealthy”(17.8%). The remaining participants did not
report any family SES (0.1%).
Study 2: Younger Adolescents Younger adolescents (N=
396; 230 girls, M
=14.64,SD = 1.52) were recruited from
extracurricular clubs, sports teams, and youth organizations
southern Ontario. The ethnicity of the participants included
Caucasian (73.7%), Asian (6.1%), African-Canadian (1.0%),
Native Canadian (0.5%), and mixed (4.3%). Participants also
reported other for ethnicity (4.8%), and remaining participants
did not report any ethnicities (9.6%). The majority of partici-
pants reported their family’s SES to be about the same
(64.6%) in wealth as the average Canadian, whereas fewer
reported more wealthy (22.8%) or less wealthy (12.1.%).
The remaining participants did not report any family SES
Personality Older adolescents completed the 100-item
HEXACO Personality Inventory-Revised self-report, while
younger adolescents completed the 60-item version (Lee and
Ashton 2004). Both versions consist of the same six factors
and the same four facets within each factor. However, the
items of the 60-item version (each factor contains 10 items)
are a subset of the items of the 100-item version (each factor
contains 16 items). Scores on the personality dimensions are
each comprised of an average of four subscales, which are
computed by averaging the items that correspond to each sub-
scale (Lee and Ashton 2004). Sample items include “If I want
something from a person I dislike, I will act very nicely toward
that person in order to get it”for Honesty-Humility, “Iworrya
lot less than most people do”for Emotionality, “I enjoy having
lots of people around to talk with”for Extraversion, “Irarely
hold a grudge, even against people who have badly wronged
me”for Agreeableness, “I often check my work over repeat-
edly to find any mistakes”for Conscientiousness, and “People
Tabl e 1 Summary of previous findings on the links among personality, bullying, and sexual behavior
Previous studies on bullying Previous studies on sexual success Predictions
Honesty-Humility •Lower Honesty-Humility associated
with bullying perpetration at the
multivariate level (Book et al. 2012)
•Lower Honesty-Humility related to
physical, racial, verbal, social, and
sexual subtypes of bullying (Farrell
et al. 2014)
•Honesty-Humility negatively related to
relationship exclusivity (Bourdage et al. 2007)
•Honesty-Humility predicts a faster life-history
strategy (Lee et al. 2013), short-term mating
orientation (Manson 2015), and unrestricted
sociosexuality (i.e., the willingness to engage
in casual sex without emotional attachment;
Bourdage et al. 2007).
Direct effect on number of sexual
partners and an indirect effect on
number of sexual partners through
Emotionality •Lower Emotionality associated with
bullying perpetration at the univariate
level (Book et al. 2012)
•Lower Emotionality related to racial
bullying (Farrell et al. 2014)
•Emotionality inversely related to short-term
mating strategies, including variants of
promiscuity and infidelity (Lee et al. 2013;
Direct effect on number of sexual
partners and an indirect effect on
number of sexual partners through
Agreeableness •Lower Agreeableness associated with
bullying when controlling for reactive
aggression (Book et al. 2012)
•Lower Agreeableness related to
physical, racial, and verbal subtypes
of bullying (Farrell et al. 2014)
•Agreeableness negatively related to a
short-term mating orientation
Direct effect on number of sexual
partners and an indirect effect on
number of sexual partners through
Evolutionary Psychological Science
have often told me that I have a good imagination”for
Openness to Experience. The rest of the items can be found
at www.hexaco.org (Lee and Ashton 2009). The reliability
coefficients for older adolescents for each of the six
HEXACO traits were α= 0.81, 0.85, 0.82, 0.80, 0.79, and 0.
78, respectively. The reliability coefficients for younger ado-
lescents for each of the six HEXACO traits were α=0.67,0.
75, 0.80, 0.68, 0.75, and 0.71, respectively. Items were rated
on a five-point scale (1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly
Bullying Participants completed the Bullying Questionnaire
that assessed the frequency of their involvement in bullying in
the last school term (adapted from Volk and Lagzdins 2009).
For both samples, two items measuring verbal and social
subtypes were averaged (older sample: r= .39; younger sam-
ple: r= .41). Verbal and social forms were used as previous
studies demonstrated these subtypes peak at various ages dur-
ing early to late adolescence for both men and women (e.g.,
Larochette et al. 2010; Monks et al. 2009;Pontzer2010; Volk
et al. 2006;Wangetal.2012). The items included “In school,
how often have you threatened, yelled at, or verbally insulted
someone much weaker or less popular last term?”and “In
school, how often have you spread rumors, mean lies, or ac-
tively excluded someone much weaker or less popular last
term?”Items were rated on a five-point scale (1 = that has
not happened and 5 = several times a week).
Sexual Partners To measure sexual behavior in both samples,
participants were asked “Howmanysexualpartnershaveyou
had a voluntary sexual experience with (i.e., more than kissing
or making out) since the age of 12?”Our measure of sexual
behavior represents a contemporary correlate of reproductive
success, which is ultimately measured by the number of viable
offspring. Given the low frequency of sexual partners in the
younger sample, we dichotomized sexual partners into yes
(i.e., has one or more sexual partners) and no (i.e., has no
sexual partners). We dichotomized in both samples for
Study 1: Older Adolescents In the lab, participants were
asked to sign a consent form and complete the questionnaires.
Questionnaires were placed in random order in order to pre-
vent order effects. After completing the questionnaires, partic-
ipants were debriefed and received either 1.0 credit as part of
the introductory psychology course or $10. The study re-
ceived clearance from a university research ethics board.
Study 2: Younger Adolescents Supervisors of extracurricular
clubs, sports teams, and youth organizations were contacted
about having adolescents participate in this study. Once
consent was obtained from these supervisors, adolescents
were recruited and told that this study was about adolescent
peer relationships. Adolescents interested in participating re-
ceived an envelope containing a parental consent form, an
assent form, and a unique identification number to access
the study online. Questionnaires were placed in random order
to prevent order effects. Participants were notified that both
the consent and assent forms needed to be signed and returned
in order for the completed questionnaire to be used in the
study. The completed forms were collected at the same loca-
tions they were initially distributed in the subsequent weeks.
When participants gave back the envelopes, they were com-
pensated $15 for their time.
Missing Data Preliminary analyses were conducted using
SPSS 24. All variables had less than 6% missing data with
the exception of sexual partners (younger sample = 12.6%,
older sample= 9.7%). However, variables with missing data
did not change the overall pattern of results in either sample as
indicated by Little’s MCAR test (older adolescents: χ
35.28, p= .11; younger adolescents: χ
(108) = 106.74,
p= .51). All estimations used the pairwise-present analysis,
which allows for all cases to be used if they are pairwise-
present (Asparouhov and Muthén 2010).
Assumptions All variables met the univariate assumptions of
normality. However, bullying was positively skewed with out-
liers in the younger sample. Considering thatantisocial behav-
iors such as bullying tend to be low in frequency, positive
skew and outliers were expected. Extreme values were
winsorized (Field 2013), which improved the pattern of as-
sumptions. All assumptions of multivariate normality were
met with the exception of homoscedasticity. However,
bootstrapping with bias-corrected confidence intervals using
10,000 samples was used in the primary analyses to account
for non-normality (Shrout and Bolger 2002).
Correlations Significant correlations ranged from small to
moderate in size (Table 2). Number of sexual partners was
significantly positively correlated with bullying and negative-
ly correlated with Honesty-Humility in both samples.
Additionally in the older adolescent sample, sexual partners
were also positively correlated with Extraversion. In the youn-
ger adolescent sample, number of sexual partners was also
correlated with being older, Agreeableness, and
Conscientiousness. In both samples, bullying was negatively
correlated with Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness, and
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Two separate path analysis models were investigated using
MPlus version 7.4 (Muthén & Muthén, 1998-2017) to test
for significant direct effects of the HEXACO traits on the
number of sexual partners and the indirect effects of the traits
through bullying perpetration simultaneously. The first path
analysis was conducted with the older adolescent sample, and
the second analysis was conducted with the younger adoles-
cent sample. Given that personality has previously been asso-
ciated with sexual outcomes, we wanted to differentiate be-
tween direct and indirect effects. We were not able to compare
genders in the older sample because of the smaller number of
male participants. However, we tested for a gender modera-
tion in the younger sample by comparing a model with
constrained paths to a model with unconstrained paths and
found no significant difference χ
(15) = 16.17, p> .05.
Therefore, to be consistent, we controlled for gender and age
effects in both path analyses. Therefore, all paths were esti-
mated and all exogenous variables were allowed to covary
resulting in fully saturated models with uninformative fit in-
dices (Kline 2016; Pearl 2012). Parameters were estimated
using weighted least squares means and variance adjusted
estimation (WLSMV) to account for the continuous and di-
chotomous dependent variables. To test for indirect effects,
95% bias-corrected confidence intervals with 10,000
bootstrapped samples were estimated, and any confidence in-
terval that did not cross over zero was considered a significant
indirect effect (Shrout and Bolger 2002).
Study 1: Older Adolescents Direct path coefficients from the
independent variables and bullying are in Table 3and Fig. 1.
Higher Extraversion and higher bullying perpetration signifi-
cantly predicted having had sex. In addition, lower Honesty-
Humility and lower Agreeableness significantly predicted
higher bullying perpetration. There was a significant indirect
effect of lower Honesty-Humility (B=−0.17, SE =0.10,β=
−0.09, 95% CI [−0.431, −0.019]), and lower Agreeableness
(B=−0.16, SE = 0.10, β=−0.08, 95% CI [−-0.417, −
0.019]) on having had sex through higher bullying.
Study 2: Younger Adolescents Direct path coefficients from
the independent variables and bullying are noted in Table 3
and Fig. 1. Being older, lower Honesty-Humility and higher
bullying significantly predicted having had sex. In addition,
lower Honesty-Humility and lower Conscientiousness also
significantly predicted higher bullying perpetration. There
was also a significant indirect effect of lower Honesty-
Humility (B=−0.05, SE = 0.03, β=−0.03, 95% CI [−
0.112, −0.003]), lower Conscientiousness (B=−0.03, SE =
0.02, β=−0.01, 95% CI [−0.083, −0.002]), on having sex-
ual partners through bullying.
We investigated the indirect effects of the HEXACO person-
ality traits on the number of sexual partners through bullying
perpetration and also the direct effects of these traits on the
Tabl e 2 Correlations, means, and standard deviations for all study variables for older and younger adolescents
1. Age 14.64(1.52) –−0.03 0.07 0.01 0.05 −0.01 −0.01 0.09 0.09 −0.12 18.32(0.63)
–−0.05 –0.35*** 0.38*** −0.11 0.02 0.09 −0.28*** −0.08 −0.20* –
3. H 3.43(0.56) −0.17*** 0.14** –0.18* −0.07 0.45*** 0.28*** −0.03 −0.39*** −0.24** 3.32(0.56)
4. E 3.23(0.60) −0.05 0.32*** 0.15** –−0.15 −0.08 0.13 −0.17* −0.04 −0.12 3.52(0.57)
5. X 3.33(0.63) −0.12* −0.06 0.18*** −0.11* –0.15 0.04 0.13 −0.12 0.26** 3.32(0.60)
6. A 3.24(0.53) −0.17*** 0.08 0.36*** −0.05 0.33*** –0.16 0.06 −0.39*** −0.03 2.98(0.52)
7. C 3.52(0.57) −0.11* 0.21*** 0.38*** 0.18*** 0.25*** 0.26*** –0.12 −0.17* −0.01 3.39(0.54)
8. O 3.06(0.60) 0.11* 0.14** 0.10 0.18*** 0.01 0.06 0.18*** –−0.03 −0.03 2.95(0.58)
9. Bully 1.17(0.34) 0.04 −0.04 −0.26*** 0.00 −0.08 −0.15** −0.21*** −0.03 –0.19* 1.45(0.48)
0.62(1.43) 0.45*** −0.05 −0.23*** −0.04 −0.04 −0.16** −0.17** −0.01 0.18** –3.00(3.00)
Note. Top half represents correlations for older adolescents; Bottom half represents correlations for younger adolescents; Honesty-Humility
Gen gender, Eemotionality, Xextraversion, Aagreeableness, Cconscientiousness, Oopenness to experience, Sex sexual partners
*p<.05; **p<.01;***p< .001
Gender coded as 1 = Boy/ Man, 2 = Girl/ Woman
Sexual partners coded as 0 = no sexual partners, 1 = yes sexual partners
Column for younger adolescents
Column for older adolescents
Evolutionary Psychological Science
number of sexual partners for samples of older and younger
adolescents. Results offered mix support for our hypotheses
pertaining to indirect effects. To begin with, Honesty-
Humility was the only antisocial trait that had an indirect
effect on number of sexual partners through bullying for both
samples. Our finding is in line with previous studies using the
HEXACO (e.g., Book et al. 2015; Manson 2015) and the
Dark Triad (e.g., Jonason et al. 2009) that suggest that lower
levels of Honesty-Humility are associated with an exploitative
social strategy. Thus, it is not surprising that both older and
younger adolescents lower in Honesty-Humility are willing
and able to engage in bullying to improve reproductive suc-
cess. Consistent with the present finding, lower degrees of
Honesty-Humility have been linked in previous research with
bullying (e.g., Book et al. 2012; Farrell et al. 2014), which in
turn has been linked to more mating partners (e.g., Dane et al.
2017;Volketal.2015). Our significant indirect effects suggest
that exploitative adolescents may have more sexual partners if
they are able to strategically use an exploitative behavior like
bullying to target weaker individuals. Thus, adolescents lower
in Honesty-Humility may use bullying to display traits such as
strength and dominance that attract the opposite sex (an inter-
sexual strategy), while also use bullying to derogate rivals to
reduce their appeal or threaten rivals into withdrawing from
intrasexual competition in order to gain access to sexual part-
ners. Therefore, individuals lower in Honesty-Humility are
interested in, and capable of, pursuing more sexual partners
through bullying when compared to others.
Similar to Honesty-Humility, Agreeableness had a signifi-
cant indirect effect on number of sexual partners through bul-
lying for older adolescents. These results are in line with previ-
ous findings suggesting that lower Agreeableness is a signifi-
cant correlate of bullying, (e.g., Book et al. 2012; Farrell et al.
2014), and that aggressive behaviors such as bullying improve
access to sexual partners (Dane et al. 2017;Volketal.2015).
Although provoked, impulsive reactive aggression is not con-
sistent with some definitions of bullying (Volk et al. 2014),
bullying can function as form of revenge (Frey et al. 2015;
Marsee et al. 2011) that initially begins with provocation, which
may therefore be more easily elicited in individuals low in
Tabl e 3 Direct paths between
HEXACO personality, bullying,
and sexual partners for older and
Bullying Sexual Partners
Vari abl es B(SE)β(SE)B(SE)β(SE)
Age 0.09(0.05) 0.11(0.07) −0.30(0.19) −0.19(0.12)
0.04(0.11) 0.03(0.10) −0.83(0.61) −0.35(0.26)
Honesty-Humility −0.24(0.08)** −0.28(0.09)** −0.30(0.30) −0.16(0.17)
Emotionality −0.03(0.07) −0.03(0.09) 0.02(0.27) 0.01(0.15)
Extraversion −0.09(0.06) −0.11(0.08) 0.59(0.20)** 0.35(0.12)**
Agreeableness −0.23(0.09)** −0.25(0.09)** 0.22(0.30) 0.11(0.16)
Conscientiousness −0.04(0.06) −0.05(0.07) 0.21 (0.29) 0.11(0.15)
Openness −0.01(0.07) −0.01(0.08) −0.33(0.26) −0.19(0.15)
Bullying ––0.69(0.33)* 0.34(0.16)*
Age 0.00(0.01) −0.01(0.05) 0.35(0.04)*** 0.53(0.06)***
0.00(0.04) 0.00(0.05) 0.03(0.14) 0.01(0.07)
Honesty-Humility −0.12(0.03)*** −0.20(0.05)*** −0.27(0.13)* −0.15(0.07)*
Emotionality 0.03(0.03) 0.05(0.05) 0.04(0.12) 0.02(0.07)
Extraversion 0.00(0.03) 0.01(0.05) 0.15(0.11) 0.10(0.07)
Agreeableness −0.03(0.04) −0.04(0.06) −0.13(0.14) −0.07(0.07)
Conscientiousness −0.08(0.03)** −0.13(0.05)** −0.16(0.12) −0.09(0.07)
Openness 0.00(0.03) 0.00(0.05) −0.07(0.11) −0.04(0.07)
Bullying ––0.38(0.19)* 0.13(0.07)*
*p< .05; **p<.01; ***p<.001
Gender coded as 1 = man, 2 = woman
Gender coded as 1 = boy, 2 = girl
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Agreeableness, who are more reactive and easily angered.
Thus, bullying that functions as provoked but planned revenge
against intrasexual competitors for mates may enable bullies to
dominate and intimidate weaker rivals, thereby deterring rivals
Interestingly, there was no indirecteffectfor Agreeableness
on number of sexual partners through bullying for younger
adolescents. While it is possible that younger adolescents are
less tolerant of impatient and angry behavior than older ado-
lescents, we believe the most likely explanation for the age
difference may be related to sexual opportunities. Considering
that the prevalence of sexual behavior increases during late
adolescence (Claxton and van Dulmen 2013), older adoles-
cents likely have more sexual opportunities than do younger
adolescents. Older adolescents may need to mate guard as
they have more sexual resources to lose (indirect effect for
Agreeableness), whereas for younger adolescents, mate
guarding may not be necessary because they are likely to have
fewer or no sexual resources (lack of direct and indirect effects
for Agreeableness). Therefore, individuals in this age group,
with predisposing personality traits, are more likely to use
bullying as a strategy to facilitate intrasexual competition or
intersexual selection, rather than for some other purpose.
Unexpectedly, there was no significant indirect effect for
Emotionality on sexual partners through bullying. In retro-
spect, this is not too surprising considering the lack of a rela-
tionship between Emotionality and bullying in previous re-
search (e.g., Book et al. 2012). This fits with several current
theories that suggest a lesser role of empathy in predicting
antisocial behaviors (e.g., Endresen and Olweus 2002;
Jolliffe and Farrington 2004;Jordanetal.2016; Warden and
Mackinnon 2003). Therefore, adolescents lower in
Emotionality may be unlikely to use bullying as a strategy
for reproductive opportunities.
Although we did not predict this indirect effect for other
HEXACO factors, we found that higher Extraversion directly
Fig. 1 Significant direct and
indirect paths for personality,
bullying, and number of sexual
partners. Note. Top figure is for
older adolescents and bottom
figure is for younger adolescents.
All covariances and disturbances
were estimated but only
significant direct effects are
displayed for ease of presentation.
No line indicates no significant
path. Standardized path
coefficients are presented for
Gender coded as
1 = boy/man, 2 = girl/woman.
*p<.05; **p<.01;***p< .001
Evolutionary Psychological Science
and lower Conscientiousness indirectly through bullying were
associated with sexual partners for the older and younger sam-
ples, respectively. The latter results are consistent with previ-
ous findings suggesting that lower Conscientiousness is a sig-
nificant predictor of bullying, (e.g., Farrell et al. 2014), which
in turn improves access to sexual partners (Dane et al. 2017;
Volk et al. 2015). Individuals who are lower in
Conscientiousness lack behavioral inhibition, which may in-
crease the likelihood of bullying others (Coolidge et al. 2004),
but is also linked with riskier sexual behavior in adolescents
(Dir et al. 2014). However, behavioral inhibition increases
with age (Steinberg 2004), which may explain why a signifi-
cant indirect effect for Conscientiousness was found for youn-
ger but not older adolescents. In addition, lower
Conscientiousness did not contribute directly to sexual part-
ners in either sample, which indicates that this personality trait
may contribute to gaining sexual opportunities mainly
through the mechanism of bullying.
In contrast, older individuals who are higher in
Extraversion may have positive social characteristics attract
sexual partners. For instance, individuals higher in
Extraversion tend to be more sociable, socially dominant,
and assertive, which are characteristics that others may find
attractive and may make it easier to engage in sexual behavior
(Miller et al. 2004). Our finding that higher Extraversion is
associated with reproductive partners is consistent with previ-
ous research (e.g., Heaven et al. 2000;Nettle2005). The lack
of an effect among younger adolescents suggests they might
be less aware/concerned with the onset of new social behav-
iors like dating compared to older adolescents when sexual
activity is more prevalent (Grello et al. 2003). For younger
adolescents, sexual behavior may be a riskier, less normative
behavior (Indirect effect of Conscientiousness on sexual part-
ners). However, for older adolescents, sexual behavior be-
comes normative so it depends less on being risky or generally
reckless and more on being sociable and assertive. In sum, our
results suggest that several personality traits may be linked
with sexual partners through bullying. These data support
our contention that bullying may be an effective behavior for
individuals who possess appropriate personality traits.
However, the lack of significant direct effects of personality
on sexual partners did not support our hypotheses.
Honesty-Humility was the only antisocial trait that directly
predicted an increased number of sexual partners in the youn-
ger adolescent sample. Younger adolescents lower in
Honesty-Humility may therefore strategically manipulate
others in a variety of ways to obtain more sexual partners.
Our finding is in line with previous studies using the
HEXACO (e.g., Book et al. 2015) and the Dark Triad (e.g.,
Jonason et al. 2009) that suggest that lower Honesty-Humility
is associated with an increased mating effort. Given that fast
life-history strategies often involve increased short-term mat-
ing effort (Ellis et al. 2012), it is not surprising that bullying,
itself a typically short-term antisocial strategy (Volk et al.
2014), partly explained the association between Honesty-
Humility and number of sexual partners. Individuals who
are lower in Honesty-Humility therefore appear to be flexible
in their use of strategies for obtaining more mates. Sometimes,
they choose bullying as their strategy (indirect effects) while
other times, they engage in other manipulative strategies (e.g.,
lying to a potential partner; direct effects). However, no direct
effect was found for older adolescents. Older adolescents may
first use their prosocial skills (direct effect of Extraversion) to
attract sexual partners given the more normative nature of
sexual behavior among older (versus younger) adolescents.
If these prosocial attempts are unsuccessful, older adolescents
could then rely on other, more exploitative behaviors such as
bullying (indirect effect of Honesty-Humility) to achieve their
In contrast to Honesty-Humility, there was no significant
direct effect of Agreeableness on number of sexual partners
for both older and younger adolescents. This finding is incon-
sistent with previous research, which has found lower
Agreeableness to be associated with a short-term mating ori-
entation, an indicator of a fast life-history strategy and a pre-
dictor of increased mating success (Manson 2015). Although
the studies mentioned above highlight the ways in which low-
er degrees of Agreeableness may contribute to more sexual
partners, those studies measured short-term mating attitudes
or orientations instead of measuring number of sexual part-
ners. Individuals who are lower in Agreeableness may have a
difficult time securing sexual partners due to some of the traits
found in the lower pole of Agreeableness such as being stub-
born and easily angered. As a result, these individuals may be
difficult to get along with and avoided by potential mating
partners (Buss 1991; Schmitt 2005). Instead, individuals
who are lower in Agreeableness may need to rely on strategic
behaviors like bullying to have more sexual opportunities.
Finally, there was also a lack of a direct effect for
Emotionality on sexual partners for both samples.
Although previous studies found that this trait was nega-
tively associated with short-term mating strategies (e.g.,
Manson 2015), including more permissive attitudes re-
garding infidelity (Shimberg et al. 2016), the lack of a
significant direct effect may be attributable to individuals
who are emotionally detached or uncaring, who may be
perceived by others as being indifferent or uninterested in
engaging in any sexual behavior. As a result, these individ-
uals may not be desired as mating partners, and thus may
have fewer sexual opportunities. Taken together, Honesty-
Humility and Agreeableness may be associated with hav-
ing more sexual partners by allowing adolescents more
willing and able to use bullying as a strategy to facilitate
intrasexual competition and intersexual selection, as op-
posed to being a mechanism leading directly to engage-
ment with more sexual partners.
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Limitations and Future Directions for Research
There are several limitations to note in our study. First,
self-report measures were used, which may be susceptible
to social desirability bias. Self-report data on bullying and
sexual behavior can be underreported (and/or exaggerated
in the latter; Hazler et al. 2006;Morrison-Beedyetal.
2006). Similarly, undesirable personality traits may also
be influenced by social desirability bias (Ashton et al.
2014). However, previous studies have found self-report
data on adolescent bullying (Book et al. 2012), sexual ac-
tivity (Brener et al. 2003), and the HEXACO (Ashton et al.
2014) are valid under conditions of confidentiality. Next,
because the study was cross-sectional and all variables
were measured concurrently, we do not know the temporal
or causal order. While we based the order of our direct and
indirect effects on theory and prior research, it is possible
that sexual partners can be a cause and/or outcome of bul-
lying. Similarly, lower Honesty-Humility may precede or
follow bullying. Future longitudinal studies may help de-
termine the developmental sequence. Third, our under-
graduate sample had a smaller number of men, lending
some caution to the generalizability of our results to older
adolescent boys. Furthermore, our older adolescent sample
was collected from a university participant pool, whereas
our younger adolescent sample was collected from the
community. Therefore, besides age, these samples may dif-
fer on various characteristics that were not measured nor
controlled for in the study. Another limitation was that
being a victim of bullying was not measured. Although
bullying perpetration may be adaptive for “pure”bullies,
it may be maladaptive for “bully-victims”(Volk et al.
2012). We were not able to distinguish between pure
bullies and bully-victims in either sample. Our study
lacked the statistical power to ideally test between bullies
and bully-victims. While we do not have strong predictions
about the different roles of personality for bullies versus
bully-victims, a host of differences between the two sug-
gest that personality could well play a different role be-
tween the two (e.g., perhaps Honesty-Humility matters
more for bullies). We therefore strongly encourage future
studies that are able to directly test whether personality
plays a different role for bullies versus bully-victims. In
addition, our measure of sexual behavior is not a direct
indicator of reproductive success. In the ancestral past,
number of viable offspring was an indicator of reproduc-
tive success, but now, number of sexual partners may be
considered a contemporary indicator of reproductive suc-
cess (Kanazawa 2003). Finally, if Honesty-Humility,
Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness are
some of the driving forces behind achieving sexual behav-
ior, it may be beneficial in future research to investigate
under what environmental contexts it is adaptive for
individuals with these personality traits to indirectly gain
access to sexual opportunities.
While we acknowledge these limitations, the results of our
study nevertheless suggest that personality can have important
direct and indirect effects on both bullying and sexual behav-
iors. Some adolescents may directly obtain more mating suc-
cess but may also employ bullying as an effective strategy to
improve mating success. Our results suggest that both re-
search and intervention efforts with older and younger adoles-
cents need to recognize and respond to the relationships be-
tween personality, sex, and bullying. Meta-analyses on anti-
bullying programs suggest that while interventions may be
effective for younger children, they are less effective for ado-
lescents (Yeager et al. 2015). The ineffectiveness of interven-
tions may be attributed to a lack of consideration for the social
and sexual developmental changes and motivations related to
bullying for adolescents. Indeed, many interventions do not
explicitly address possible sexual competition as a goal of
bullying (Ellis et al. 2015). Given that adolescence is charac-
terized both by sexual maturation and the onset of sexual
behavior, this is a potentially crucial oversight (Yeager et al.
2015). By targeting the reproductive motivations of bullies,
interventions may want to focus on alternative, but equally
effective, prosocial behaviors (e.g., school jobs program that
provide bullies with meaningful roles and responsibilities) that
still work with, rather than against, exploitative personality
traits to allow adolescents to achieve sexual benefits without
harming others (Ellis et al. 2015). In sum, when we consider
bullying as an effective behavior, we must consider not only
the behavior but the personality of the perpetrator. Bullying
may result in more sex, but only for those who possess the
personality traits that motivate them to take advantage of their
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of
Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2001). A theoretical basis for the major di-
mensions of personality. European Journal of Personality, 15(5),
Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2007). Empirical, theoretical, and practical
advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11(2), 150–166.
Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., & Son, C. (2000). Honesty as the sixth factor of
personality: correlations with Machiavellianism, primary psychopa-
thy, and social adroitness. European Journal of Personality, 14(4),
Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., & de Vries, R. E. (2014). The HEXACO honesty-
humility, agreeableness, and emotionality factors: a review of re-
search and theory. Personality and Social Psychology Review,
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. O. (2010). Weighted least squares estima-
tion with missing data. Mplus Technical Appendices. Retrieved from
Baams, L., Dubas, J. S., Overbeek, G., & Van Aken, M. A. (2015).
Transitions in body and behavior: a meta-analytic study on the rela-
tionship between pubertal development and adolescent sexual be-
havior. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(6), 586–598.
Ball, H. A., Arseneault, L., Taylor, A., Maughan, B., Caspi, A., & Moffitt,
T. E. (2008). Genetic and environmental influences on victims,
bullies and bully-victims in childhood. Journal of Child
Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(1), 104–112.
Book, A. S., Volk, A. A., & Hosker, A. (2012). Adolescent bullying and
personality: an adaptive approach. Personality and Individual
Differences, 52(2), 218–223.
Book, A., Visser, B. A., & Volk, A. A. (2015). Unpacking “evil”:
claiming the core of the dark triad. Personality and Individual
Book, A., Visser, B. A., Blais, J., Hosker-Field, A., Methot-Jones, T.,
Gauthier, N. Y., et al. (2016). Unpacking more “evil”:whatisat
the core of the dark tetrad? Personality and Individual Differences,
Bourdage, J. S., Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., & Perry, A. (2007). Big Five and
HEXACO model personality correlates of sexuality. Personality
and Individual Differences, 43(6), 1506–1516.
Brener, N. D., Billy, J. O., & Grady, W. R. (2003). Assessment of factors
affecting the validity of self-reported health-risk behavior among
adolescents: evidence from the scientific literature. Journal of
Adolescent Health, 33(6), 436–457.
de Bruyn, E. H., Cillessen, A. H., & Weisfeld, G. E. (2012). Dominance-
popularity status, behavior, and the emergence of sexual activity in
young adolescents. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(2), 296–319.
Buss, D. M. (1991). Conflict in married couples: personality predictors of
anger and upset. Journal of Personality, 59,663–688.
Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Human aggression in evolu-
tionary psychological perspective. Clinical Psychology Review,
Campbell, A. (2013). The evolutionary psychology of women’saggres-
sion. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 368,
Claxton, S. E., & van Dulmen, M. H. (2013). Casual sexual relationships
and experiences in emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2),
Connolly, I., & O'Moore, M. (2003). Personality and family relations of
children who bully. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(3),
Connolly, J., Craig, W., Goldberg, A., & Pepler, D. (2004). Mixed-gender
groups, dating, and romantic relationships in early adolescence.
Journal of Research on Adolescence, 14(2), 185–207.
Coolidge, F. L., DenBoer, J. W., & Segal, D. L. (2004). Personality and
neuropsychological correlates of bullying behavior. Personality and
Individual Differences, 36(7), 1559–1569.
Craig, W., Harel-Fisch, Y., Fogel-Grinvald, H., Dostaler, S., Hetland, J.,
Simons-Morton, B., et al. (2009). A cross-national profile of bully-
ing and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries.
International Journal of Public Health, 54,216–224.
Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1999). ‘Superiority’is in the eye of the
beholder: a comment on Sutton, Smith, and Swettenham. Social
Development, 8(1), 128–131.
Dane, A. V., Marini, Z. A., Volk, A. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (2017).
Physical and relational bullying and victimization: differential rela-
tions with adolescent dating and sexual behavior. Aggressive
Behavior, 43(2), 111–122.
Dir, A. L., Coskunpinar, A., & Cyders, M. A. (2014). A meta-analytic
review of the relationship between adolescent risky sexual behavior
and impulsivity across gender, age, and race. Clinical Psychology
Review, 34(7), 551–562.
Ellis, B. J., Del Giudice, M., Dishion, T. J., Figueredo, A. J., Gray, P.,
Griskevicius, V., Hawley, P. H., et al (2012). The evolutionary basis
of risky adolescent behavior: Implications for science, policy, and
practice. Developmental Psychology, 48(3), 598–623.
Ellis, B. J., Volk, A. A., Gonzalez, J. M., & Embry, D. D. (2015). The
meaningful roles intervention: an evolutionary approach to reducing
bullying and increasing prosocial Behavior. Journal of Research on
Endresen, I. M., & Olweus, D. (2002). Self-reported empathy in
Norwegian adolescents: sex-differences, age trends, and relationship
to bullying. In D. Stipek & A. Bohart (Eds.), Constructive and
destructive behavior. Implications for family, school, society (pp.
147–165). Washington: American Psychological Association.
Farrell, A. H., Della Cioppa, V., Volk, A. A., & Book, A. S. (2014).
Predicting bullying heterogeneity with the HEXACO model of per-
sonality. International Journal of Advances inPsychology, 3(2), 30–
Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics.
Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd..
Finer, L. B., & Philbin, J. M. (2013). Sexual initiation, contraceptive use,
and pregnancy among young adolescents. Pediatrics, 131(5), 886–
Fisher, M., & Cox, A. (2009). The influence of female attractiveness on
competitor derogation. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7(2),
Foster, J. D., Shrira, I., & Campbell, W. K. (2006). Theoretical models of
narcissism, sexuality, and relationship commitment. Journal of
Social and Personal Relationships, 23(3), 367–386.
Frey, K. S., Pearson, C. R., & Cohen, D. (2015). Revenge is seductive, if
not sweet: why friends matter for prevention efforts. Journal of
Applied Developmental Psychology, 37,25–35.
Gallup, A. C., White, D. D., & Gallup, G. G. (2007). Handgrip strength
predicts sexual behavior, body morphology, and aggression in male
college students. Evolution and Human Behavior, 28(6), 423–429.
Gallup, A. C., O'Brien, D. T., & Wilson, D. S. (2011). Intrasexual peer
aggression and dating behavior during adolescence: an evolutionary
perspective. Aggressive Behavior, 37(3), 258–267.
Grello, C. M., Welsh, D. P., Harper, M. S., & Dickson, J. W. (2003).
Dating and sexual relationship trajectories and adolescent function-
ing. Adolescent and Family Health, 3(3), 103–112.
Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., & Granger, D. A. (2006). Integrating biolog-
ical measures into the study of bullying. Journal of Counseling &
Heaven, P. C., Fitzpatrick, J., Craig, F. L., Kelly, P., & Sebar, G. (2000).
Five personality factors and sex: preliminary findings. Personality
and Individual Differences, 28(6), 1133–1141.
Hoyle, R. H., Fejfar, M. C., & Miller, J.D. (2000). Personality and sexual
risk taking: a quantitative review. Journal of Personality, 68(6),
Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Empathy and offending: a sys-
tematic review and meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior,
Jonason, P. K., Li, N. P., Webster, G. D., & Schmitt, D. P. (2009). The
dark triad: facilitating a short-term mating strategy in men.
European Journal of Personality, 23(1), 5–18.
Jonason, P. K., Koenig, B., & Tost, J. (2010). Living a fast life: the dark
triad and life history theory. Human Nature, 21,428–442.
Jordan, M. R., Amir, D., & Bloom, P. (2016). Are empathy and concern
psychologically distinct? Emotion, 16(8), 1107–1116.
Kanazawa, S. (2003). Can evolutionary psychology explain reproductive
behavior in the contemporary United States? Sociological
Kline, R. B. (2016). Principles and practice of structural equational
modeling (4th ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.
Evolutionary Psychological Science
Koh, J. B., & Wong, J. S. (2015). Survival of the fittest and the sexiest
evolutionary origins of adolescent bullying. Journal of
Interpersonal Violence, 0886260515593546.
Larochette, A. C., Murphy, A. N., & Craig, W. M. (2010). Racial bullying
and victimization in Canadian school-aged children: individual and
school level effects. School Psychology International, 31(4), 389–
Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2004). Psychometric properties of the
HEXACO personality inventory. Multivariate Behavioral
Research, 39(2), 329–358.
Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2009). The HEXACO personality inventory-
revised: a measure of the six major dimensions of personality.
Retrieved from http://hexaco.org/hexaco-inventory.
Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2012). The H factor of personality: why some
people are manipulative, self-entitled, materialistic, and exploit-
ative—and why it matters for everyone. Waterloo: Wilfried Laurier
Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., Morrison, D. L., Cordery, D., & Dunlop, P. D.
(2008). Predicting integrity with the HEXACO personality model:
use of self- and observer reports. Journal of Occupational and
Organizational Psychology, 81,147–167.
Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., Wiltshire, J., Bourdage, J. S., Visser, B. A., &
Gallucci, A. (2013). Sex, power, and money: prediction from the
dark triad and honesty–humility. European Journal of Personality,
Leenaars, L. S., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2008). Evolutionary per-
spective on indirect victimization in adolescence: the role of attrac-
tiveness, dating and sexual behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 34(4),
Manson, J. H. (2015). Life history strategy and the HEXACO personality
dimensions. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(1), 147470491501300104.
Marsee, M. A., Barry, C. T., Childs, K. K., Frick, P. J., Kimonis, E. R.,
Muñoz, L. C., et al. (2011). Assessing the forms and functions of
aggression using self-report: Factor structure and invariance of the
Peer Conflict Scale in youths. Psychological Assessment, 23(3),
Marshall, W. L., Hudson, S. M., Jones, R., & Fernandez, Y. M. (1995).
Empathy in sex offenders. Clinical Psychology Review, 15(2), 99–
Miller, J. D., Lynam, D., Zimmerman, R. S., Logan, T. K., Leukefeld, C.,
& Clayton, R. (2004). The utility of the five factor model in under-
standing risky sexual behavior. Personality and Individual
Differences, 36(7), 1611–1626.
Mitsopoulou, E., & Giovazolias, T. (2015). Personality traits, empathy
and bullying behavior: a meta-analytic approach. Aggression and
Vio le nt B eh av io r, 21 ,61–72.
Monks, C. P., Smith, P. K., Naylor, P., Barter, C., Ireland, J. L., & Coyne, I.
(2009). Bullying in different contexts: commonalities, differences,
and the role of theory. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14,146–156.
Morrison-Beedy, D., Carey, M. P., & Tu, X. (2006). Accuracy of audio
computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) and self-administered
questionnaires for the assessment of sexual behavior. AIDS and
Behavior, 10(5), 541–552.
Muthén, L., & Muthén, B. O. (1998-2017). Mplus. User’sguide.Los
Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.
Nettle, D. (2005). An evolutionary approach to the extraversion continu-
um. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(4), 363–373.
Pearl, J. (2012). The causal foundations of structural equational modeling.
In R. R. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of structural equational modeling
(pp. 68–91). New York: The Guilford Press.
Pellegrini, A. D., & Long, J. D. (2003). A sexual selection theory longitu-
dinal analysis of sexual segregation and integration in early adoles-
cence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85(3), 257–278.
Pontzer, D. (2010). A theoretical test of bullying behavior: parenting,
personality, and the bully/victim relationship. Journal of Family
Vio le nc e, 2 5(3), 259–273.
Reijntjes, A., Vermande, M., Goossens, F. A., Olthof, T., van de Schoot,
R., Aleva, L., & van der Meulen, M. (2013). Developmental trajec-
tories of bullying and social dominance in youth. Child Abuse &
Neglect, 37(4), 224–234.
Schmitt, D. P. (2005). Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: a 48-
nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28,247–275.
Schmitt, D. P., & Shackelford, T. K. (2008). Big Five traits related to
short-term mating: from personality to promiscuity across 46 na-
tions. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(2), 147470490800600204.
Shimberg, J., Josephs, L., & Grace, L. (2016). Empathy as mediator of
attitudes toward infidelity among college students. Journal of Sex
and Marital Therapy, 42(4), 353–368.
Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and non-
experimental studies: new procedures and recommendations.
Psychological Methods, 7(4), 422–445.
Steinberg, L. (2004). Risk taking in adolescence: what changes, and why?
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021(1), 51–58.
Vaillancourt, T. (2013). Do human females use indirect aggression as an
intrasexual competition strategy? Philosophical Transactions of the
Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1631), 20130080.
Volk, A. A., & Lagzdins, L. (2009). Bullying and victimization among
adolescent girl athletes. Athletic Insight, 11(1), 12–25.
Volk, A., Craig, W., Boyce, W., & King, M. (2006). Adolescent risk
correlates of bullying and different types of victimization.
International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 18(4),
Volk, A. A., Camilleri, J. A., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2012). Is
adolescent bullying an evolutionary adaptation? Aggressive
Behavior, 38(3), 222–238.
Volk, A. A., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2014). What is bullying? A
theoretical redefinition. Developmental Review, 34(4), 327–343.
Volk, A.A., Dane, A.V., Marini, Z.A., & Vaillancourt, T. (2015).
Adolescent bullying, dating, and mating: testing an evolutionary hy-
pothesis. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(4), doi: 1474704915613909.
de Vries, R. E., de Vries, A., & Feij, J. A. (2009).Sensation seeking, risk-
taking, and the HEXACO model of personality. Personality and
Individual Differences, 47(6), 536–540.
Wang, J., Iannotti, R. J., & Luk, J. W. (2012). Patterns of adolescent
bullying behaviors: Physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber.
Journal of School Psychology, 50(4), 521–534.
Warden, D., & Mackinnon, S. (2003). Prosocial children, bullies and
victims: an investigation of their sociometric status, empathy and
social problem-solving strategies. British Journal of
Developmental Psychology, 21,367–385.
Watson, P. J., & Morris, R. J. (1991). Narcissism, empathy and social
desirability. Personality & Individual Differences, 12(6), 575–579.
Wheeler, J. G., George, W. H., & Dahl, B. J. (2002). Sexually aggressive
college males: empathy as a moderator in the “confluence model”of
sexual aggression. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(5),
Yeager, D. S., Fong, C. J., Lee, H. Y., & Espelage, D. L. (2015). Declines
in efficacy of anti-bullying programs among older adolescents: the-
ory and a three-level meta-analysis. Journal of Applied
Developmental Psychology, 37,36–51.
Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., & Helfland, M. (2008). Ten years of longitudi-
nal research on U.S. adolescent sexual behavior: developmental cor-
relates of sexual intercourse, and the importance of age, gender and
ethnic background. Developmental Review, 28,153–224.
Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Siebenbruner, J., & Collins, W. A. (2001).
Diverse aspects of dating: associations with psychosocial function-
ing from early to middle adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 24,
Evolutionary Psychological Science