Personality, Mating Strategies, and Mating Intelligence

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Mating intelligence can be defined as the set of cognitive abilities relevant to mating, courtship, and mate choice (Geher, Miller, and Murphy, this volume). As mating is such a crucial component of fitness, one would expect natural selection to have optimized the mental mechanisms that subserve strategies for selecting, understanding, and attracting mates. Yet, as differential psychologists have amply documented, there are abundant individual differences in sexual attitudes and behaviors. We will argue that much of this variation reflects stable personality dimensions. For example, Bailey and colleagues found substantial heritability for sexual promiscuity in a large-scale twin study (Bailey, Kirk, Zhu, Dunne, and Martin, 2000). Since these personality dimensions show substantial heritability (Bouchard and Loehlin, 2001), we must conclude that there is heritable variation in human mating-relevant cognitive mechanisms-and thus in mating strategies and perhaps mating intelligence.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMating Intelligence
Subtitle of host publicationSex, Relationships, and the Mind’s Reproductive System
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781136678875
ISBN (Print)9780203809952
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes

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