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Is social dominance a sex-specific strategy for infidelity?

By Vincent Egan and S. Angus


The current study investigated personality, psychopathy and mating effort of 84 adults recruited from a large office setting who admitted infidelity whilst involved in another relationship. These were compared with individuals who had not been unfaithful. Measurement scales were reduced by principal components analysis to three general factors; social dominance, manipulativeness, and openness. There was no sex difference in social dominance or openness. Males were higher on the manipulativeness factor. There were no differences in the social dominance or openness factors for individuals admitting affairs compared to those who had not; males who admitted affairs were higher in social dominance. There was an interaction between sex and having had an affair (or not) for the social dominance, this indicated males who had committed infidelity were higher on the social dominance dimension than females who were also unfaithful, the reverse was the case for males and females who had not had affairs. Manipulativeness predicted the number of affairs had and their emphasis on sexuality, whereas social dominance did not. These results suggest male and female infidelity is underpinned by differential personality types as well as differential sexual strategies

Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0191-8869(03)00116-8
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/2566
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