Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 9–10, pp 603–612

Sexual Strategies Theory: Built for the Short Term or the Long Term?

Original Article


The evolutionary paradigm has provided psychology with a different perspective on human behavior, and with beneficial results. Sexual Strategies Theory (SST; Buss and Schmitt 1993) has been the primary evolutionary theory for studying human sexual behavior. A review of some SST-related research suggests that some of the paradigm’s anticipated female-male differences are supported. However, closer examination of this research also reveals substantial female-male similarities in sexual behavior, inconsistent or unclear definitions of several important SST concepts, and the functional omission of several important topics from the SST research agenda. Further, male-female differences in sexuality may be driven by a subset of males. Directions for future research are suggested, including greater attention to individual and contextual factors.


Evolutionary psychology Critique Human sex differences Sexual behavior Gender roles Gender similarities Context 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

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