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H. Luke Shaefer

Sex differences in post-coital behaviors in long- and short-term mating: An evolutionary perspective

Publication Abstract

Hughes, Susan M., and Daniel J. Kruger. 2011. "Sex differences in post-coital behaviors in long- and short-term mating: An evolutionary perspective." Journal of Sex Research, 48(5): 496-505.

Few empirical studies have been devoted to exploring behaviors occurring immediately following sexual intercourse. Therefore, this study conducts an exploratory investigation of various post-coital behaviors that the authors propose may reflect the divergent adaptive reproductive strategies of each sex as understood from an evolutionary perspective. An online questionnaire was administered to 170 individuals examining sex differences in post-coital compared to pre-coital activities related to pair-bonding with long-term mates, as well as a variety of common post-coital activities comparing short- and long-term mating contexts. It was found that females were more likely than males to initiate and place greater importance on several behaviors related to intimacy and bonding following sex with long-term partners. Males were more likely to initiate kissing before sex, and females after sex. Intimate talk and kissing were rated by both sexes as more important before intercourse with a long-term partner, whereas cuddling and professing one's love was rated more important after sex. In a second set of more specific post-coital behaviors, females were more likely to engage in post-coital behaviors related to bonding with both short- and long-term partners, whereas males were more likely to engage in ones that were extrinsically rewarding or increased the likelihood of further coital acts.

DOI:10.1080/00224499.2010.501915 (Full Text)

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