Gender difference in emotional reactions and sexual coercion in casual sexual relations: An evolutionary perspective

John Marshall Townsend, Timothy H. Wasserman, Allen Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested four predictions derived from (evolutionary) sexual conflict theory. The central hypothesis was that men and women possess different emotional mechanisms that motivate and evaluate sexual activities. Women's mechanisms are associated with their perception of partners' ability and willingness to invest. For men these associations are weaker or inverse. Regression analyses of survey data from 194 college students revealed the following. As incidence of casual sexual relations increased (SOI Behavior), men reported less concern about partners' intentions and less Worry-Vulnerability in response to casual sexual relations than women did; these gender interactions were significant. Regular sexual relations with partners with whom they did not desire emotional involvement showed the same pattern of gender differences. The Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) measured the incidence of sexual coercion in casual sexual relations. For women, but not for men, SOI Behavior was associated with all levels of sexual coercion. Limitations and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume85
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Keywords

  • Casual sex
  • Emotions
  • Evolution
  • Gender differences
  • Sexual coercion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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