Studying Sex Differences in Psychosocial Life History Indicators

Lee Copping, G. B. (George) Richardson

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Abstract

The last decade has seen rapid growth in the study of human life history strategies, with advances to theory, increasingly sophisticated research designs, and innovative new tools now being at the disposal of researchers. Contemporary evolutionary psychology suggests there should be variation in biological and psychological traits attributable to differences between the sexes. We review theory underpinning sex differences in evolutionarily adaptive behaviors, and then outline the developmental stages and behaviors pertinent to life history strategies that could be subject to these differences. We then review contemporary work that has examined sex in relation to these domains and end with recommendations for future research agendas. We conclude that future work needs to consider sex more comprehensively (studying the sexes separately when necessary) when evaluating measures and models designed to tackle important life history research questions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
Early online date17 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2019

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