Mate value, intrasexual competition and sociosexual desire drive Brazilian women’s well-being

Anthonieta Looman Mafra, Renata Pereira Defelipe, Marco Antonio Correa Varella, John M. Townsend, Jaroslava Varella Valentova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Well-being (vs. ill-being) might function as an internal guide for approaching (vs. avoiding) situations, strategies, and achievements that ancestrally led to higher (vs. lower) reproductive success. Indeed, coupled individuals report higher well-being than singles, while depressive individuals report lower mate value and higher sociosexuality. Here we investigate associations between well-being, depression and evolutionary reproduction-related aspects (mate value, intrasexual competition, age, and sociosexuality). Overall, 1,173 predominantly heterosexual Brazilian women (mean = 31.89; standard deviation = 11.10) responded to online instruments measuring self-perceived happiness, life-satisfaction, depression, mate value, intrasexual competition, age, and sociosexuality. Multiple regression models indicated that higher well-being was positively predicted by mate value and negatively by intrasexual competition and sociosexual desire, while the opposite was true for depression. Although intrasexual competition and unrestricted sociosexuality can, under some circumstances, increase individual reproductive success, they are risky and suboptimally effective strategies, thus leading to feelings of ill-being. Contrarily, affective long-term bonds, higher mate-value, and lower intrasexual competition might increase feelings of well-being, because this would lead to a safer route towards ancestral reproductive advantages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere25
JournalEvolutionary Human Sciences
StatePublished - 2021


  • Depression
  • happiness
  • life satisfaction
  • mating
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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