Sexual regret: evidence for evolved sex differences

Galperin, Andrew, Haselton, Martie G., Frederick, David A., Poore, Joshua, von Hippel, William, Buss, David M. and Gonzaga, Gian C. (2013) Sexual regret: evidence for evolved sex differences. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42 7: 1145-1161. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-0019-3

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Author Galperin, Andrew
Haselton, Martie G.
Frederick, David A.
Poore, Joshua
von Hippel, William
Buss, David M.
Gonzaga, Gian C.
Title Sexual regret: evidence for evolved sex differences
Journal name Archives of Sexual Behavior   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-0002
Publication date 2013-10-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10508-012-0019-3
Open Access Status
Volume 42
Issue 7
Start page 1145
End page 1161
Total pages 17
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Regret and anticipated regret enhance decision quality by helping people avoid making and repeating mistakes. Some of people’s most intense regrets concern sexual decisions. We hypothesized evolved sex differences in women’s and men’s experiences of sexual regret. Because of women’s higher obligatory costs of reproduction throughout evolutionary history, we hypothesized that sexual actions, particularly those involving casual sex, would be regretted more intensely by women than by men. In contrast, because missed sexual opportunities historically carried higher reproductive fitness costs for men than for women, we hypothesized that poorly chosen sexual inactions would be regretted more by men than by women. Across three studies (Ns = 200, 395, and 24,230), we tested these hypotheses using free responses, written scenarios, detailed checklists, and Internet sampling to achieve participant diversity, including diversity in sexual orientation. Across all data sources, results supported predicted psychological sex differences and these differences were localized in casual sex contexts. These findings are consistent with the notion that the psychology of sexual regret was shaped by recurrent sex differences in selection pressures operating over deep time.
Keyword Evolutionary psychology
Sex differences
Parental investment theory
Sexual regret
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 21 November 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 25 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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