(137 kB) Kandrik M, Jones BC & DeBruine LM (2014). Regional differences in mating strategies: Region-level variation in the availability of women as mates predicts American men’s and women’s sociosexual orientation. European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association in Bristol, UK. April 2014.

Previous studies have variously linked regional variation in sociosexual orientation (i.e., openness to uncommitted sexual relationships) to operational sex ratio, health-related factors, and measures of wealth. However, since these variables are often interrelated, it is unclear which of these sets of variables best predicts regional variation in sociosexual orientation. To address this issue, we investigated regional variation in the sociosexual orientation of over 4,000 American men and women from 50 US states and Washington DC. For these 51 regions, factor analysis of the predictors used in previous studies of regional variation in sociosexual orientation identified three orthogonal factors: availability of women as mates, health, and wealth. Individual participants’ scores on the revised Sociosexual Orientation Inventory were then analysed using Hierarchical Linear Modelling, with the availability of women as mates, health, and wealth factors entered as predictors at the region level, and participant age and sex entered as predictors at the individual level. Availability of women as mates was positively correlated with openness to uncommitted sexual relationships in both men and women. By contrast, neither health nor wealth predicted men’s or women’s sociosexual orientation. These results complement previous research that linked variation in sociosexual orientation among countries to factors such as operational sex ratio.

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