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Sexual behaviour as a natural laboratory for understanding individual differences

Egan, Vincent


Vincent Egan


As bonding primates, human sexuality is fundamental to existence and well-being as a species and for most individuals. Sexual behaviour can be diverse or prosaic, as are the antecedent and consequent pathways, indicating individual differences are an influence. Biological dynamics such as puberty, independence, sexual preference, and the move from mating to parenting effort also influence these processes. Key findings observed by Eysenck and Wilson – extroverts are sociosexual, those high in neuroticism have more sexual problems, persons high in psychoticism (i.e., low Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, or high psychopathy/Machiavellianism) have impersonal, loveless, or deviant sexual expression – remain axiomatic. Sexual offenders and risk takers have this dispositional foundation, but are also troubled by sexual preoccupation, use sex for mood management, and have disturbed attachments, all of which are reconviction and relapse risk indicators. Intelligence is also relevant to human sexuality. Arousal and desire can overwhelm even the highly intelligent, as indicated by the risks and bad choices made by mostly rational and prudent individuals. Research into sexual behaviour (however operationalised), personality, and intelligence (and the multiple theories, models, methods, and forms of analysis it requires) helps inculcate an interest in differential psychology and its many applications.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 7, 2020
Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Print ISSN 0191-8869
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Egan, V. (2020). Sexual behaviour as a natural laboratory for understanding individual differences. Personality and Individual Differences,
Publisher URL