The strength of associations among sexual strategy traits: Variations as a function of life history speed

Heitor B.F. Fernandes, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Claudio S. Hutz, Daniel J. Kruger, Aurelio José Figueredo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Individuals exhibit differences in their life history strategies along a continuum that ranges from fast (involving investments in immediate rewards) to slow (involving long-term relationships and investments). Components of life history have been demonstrated to be more strongly correlated in individuals with faster life histories, a phenomenon termed Strategic Differentiation-Integration Effort (SD-IE). Sexual strategies are an intrinsic component of life history, yet have not been examined for SD-IE effects. We tested SD-IE in one student and two general population samples from two countries, among sexual strategy traits and correlates (sociosexual orientation, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, three groups of postcoital emotions, mate value, and life history speed). Two latent factors were found to explain the overall associations among these variables. The associations between the two factors and among their respective manifest indicators within factor were stronger in individuals with less restricted sexual strategies and more negative emotionality in sexual relationships, traits which are indicative of overall faster life history, supporting SD-IE hypotheses. Sex differences were identified and accounted for by life history speed differences between men and women. Unifactorial and multifactorial views of human sexual strategies can be argued to be equally supported by data, depending on individual life history speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-283
Number of pages9
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cross-national
  • Factor analysis
  • Life history
  • SD-IE
  • Sexual Strategies Theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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