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 study in Personality and Individual Differences.


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.


Frequency of participant by gender identification term

Factors related to nonbinary gender self-identification (probit model)


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Statistical Resources

Descriptive Statistics (view full PDF)
Presented here are some demographic summary statistics collected participants of the 1st Australian Sex Survey, conducted between July – September 2016.1

1 Please note, not all observations sum to total, as per the QUT Human Research Ethics approval, participants were not required to answer any question they did not wish to.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018