About the Australian Sex Survey

Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE)
, a high performance research team of The Queensland University of Technology has partnered with Australia’s largest online dating group Giga Pty Ltd (www.adultmatchmaker.com.au), The Eros Association, Australian Sex Party & Max Black, to explore the role that personality, emotion, co-operation, resources and attractiveness play for different sexualities, when they search for a potential mate on the internet. 

“Understanding human behaviour in large scale decisions such as choosing a partner, is incredibly important for all social sciences, and is a currently under funded and under researched field. Independent academic research studies such as this one help to inform policy makers and wider society across a range of vitally important areas, for example; gender equity, marriage equality, income inequality, reproductive health and medicine, mental health, social psychology and education, but to name a few.” -  Stephen Whyte, QuBE researcher & project lead


Demographic Capture - age, occupation, height, weight, sex, eduction, etc.

Kinsey Scale - measuring a person's sexual experience as it relates to behaviour.

Perceptions of health, happiness & attractiveness.

Personality Measures - personality snap-shot of an individual.

Self perceptions of Sex & Gender and their role in relationship formation.










Study No. 1

Man, Woman, “Other”: Factors Associated with Nonbinary Gender Identification


Using a unique dataset of 7479 respondents to the online Australian Sex Survey (July–September 2016), we explored factors relevant for individuals who self-identify as one of the many possible nonbinary gender options (i.e., not man or woman). Our results identified significant sex differences in such factors; in particular, a positive association between female height, higher educational levels, and greater same-sex attraction (female-female) versus a negative effect of lower income levels and more offspring. With respect to sex similarities, older males and females, heterosexuals, those with lower educational levels, and those living outside capital cities were all more likely to identify as the historically dichotomous gender options. These factors associated with nonbinary gender identification were also more multifaceted for females than for males, although our interaction terms demonstrated that younger females (relative to younger males) and nonheterosexuals (relative to heterosexuals) were more likely to identify as nonbinary. These effects were reversed, however, in the older cohort. Because gender can have such significant lifetime impacts for both the individual and society as a whole, our findings strongly suggest the need for further research into factors that impact gender diversity.

Read the full results of his study in Archives of Sexual Behaviour.

Study No. 3

Do certain personality traits provide a mating market competitive advantage? Sex, offspring & the big 5


This study uses the BIG 5 personality traits to quantitatively explore correlates of sexual frequency and reproductive success of a large sample (NMale = 2998; NFemale = 1480) of heterosexuals advertised to on an Australian dating website. Consistent with previous research we find that for both sexes, extraversion has a positive linear relationship with sexual frequency. The same is also observable for males that are more conscientious, more emotionally stable, and less agreeable; indicating that for men, a greater number of personality factors matter in explaining the variation in sexual activity. Higher extraversion or lower openness in males correlates with more offspring. Conversely, only more agreeable females have more offspring. Our non-parametric thin-plate spline analysis suggests certain combinations of the traits extraversion & agreeableness, extraversion & conscientiousness, and agreeableness & conscientiousness provide select males a mating market competitive advantage in relation to sexual frequency, compared to other males. Our findings suggest that greater variance in male traits and their particular combinations thereof may provide a fitness comparative advantage for males, but not necessarily for females.

Read the full results of his study in Personality & Individual Differences

Australian Sex Survey Partners