Original article:

Sex differences in same-sex direct aggression and sociosexuality: The role of risky impulsivity

Evolutionary Psychology 8(4): 779-792 Catharine P. Cross, Department of Psychology, Durham University, Durham, UK, c.p.cross@durham.ac.uk


Sex differences in same-sex direct aggression and sociosexuality are among the most robust in the literature. The present article evaluated the hypothesis that both can be explained by a sex difference in the willingness to take impulsive risks. Self-report data were gathered from 3,775 respondents (1,514 female) on same-sex aggression, sociosexuality, and risky impulsivity. Risky impulsivity was higher for men than for women (d = .34) and path analysis showed it to be a common cause of same-sex aggression and sociosexuality for both sexes. However, it did not completely mediate the sex differences in same-sex aggression and sociosexuality. The results suggest that same-sex aggression and sociosexual behavior share a common psychological mechanism, but that fully explaining sex differences in aggression requires a more sensitive assay of impulsive risk and a consideration of dyadic processes.


direct aggression, impulsivity, risk taking, sex differences, sociosexuality

Full article

Download PDF (free)

Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)

You're in!