Behavioural economists Dr Stephen Whyte, Dr Ho Fai Chan and Professor Benno Torgler analysed responses from just under 4,500 participants to explore which personality traits correlated with reproductive success.
The study, published in Personality and Individual Differences, was titled: “Do certain personality traits provide a mating market competitive advantage? Sex, offspring & the big 5”.
It found that extroversion correlates with sexual activity in both sexes, but that men have several additional correlates. Being more conscientious, less agreeable and more emotionally stable are linked to sexual frequency, for example.
Notably, “certain combinations of the traits extraversion & agreeableness, extraversion & conscientiousness, and agreeableness & conscientiousness provide select males a mating market competitive advantage in relation to sexual frequency.”
Dr Whyte, speaking to The Huffington Post, said: “Our findings suggest that the greater variance in male traits and their particular combinations may provide an advantage for them when it comes to sex and reproduction but that doesn’t appear to be the case for the women we analyzed.”
One finding relating to women was that the more agreeable female participants tended to have more children.
November’s GDI Editorial considered how the science of compatibility may help dating sites in future, and whether or not data from these sites supports evolutionary hypotheses of mate selection.
Read more here.