Advertisement

Evolutionary Psychological Science

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 221–232 | Cite as

Do Bullies Have More Sex? The Role of Personality

  • Daniel A. Provenzano
  • Andrew V. Dane
  • Ann H. Farrell
  • Zopito A. Marini
  • Anthony A. Volk
Research Article

Abstract

Previous research has shown that adolescent bullying is associated with having a higher number of sexual partners. Bullying may thus represent an effective behavior for increasing the number of sexual partners. However, bullying may be an effective behavior primarily for adolescents who possess personality traits that make them willing and able to use bullying as a strategy for obtaining sexual partners. Therefore, we predicted that individuals with antisocial personality traits would be more willing and able to engage in bullying, which in turn may increase their sexual opportunities. We tested this hypothesis across the span of adolescence by using cross-sectional samples of 144 older adolescents (N = 144; 111 women, M age = 18.32, SD = 0.63) and 396 younger adolescents (N = 396; 230 girls, M age = 14.64, SD = 1.52) to test direct and indirect links between HEXACO personality traits, bullying, and sexual partners. Path analyses provided some support for our hypothesis. In both samples, Honesty-Humility personality trait scores had indirect effects on sexual partners through bullying and direct effects on sexual partners in the younger sample. However, in the older sample, Agreeableness had indirect effects through bullying and Extraversion had direct effects, whereas in the younger sample, Conscientiousness had indirect effects through bullying. Our results suggest that exploitative traits may be associated with bullying and sexual partners across adolescence. We also note how other personality traits may differentially relate to bullying in older versus younger adolescents.

Keywords

Bullying Adolescents HEXACO Personality Reproduction Evolution 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2001). A theoretical basis for the major dimensions of personality. European Journal of Personality, 15(5), 327–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton, M. C., & Lee, K. (2007). Empirical, theoretical, and practical advantages of the HEXACO model of personality structure. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11(2), 150–166.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., & Son, C. (2000). Honesty as the sixth factor of personality: correlations with Machiavellianism, primary psychopathy, and social adroitness. European Journal of Personality, 14(4), 359–368.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ashton, M. C., Lee, K., & de Vries, R. E. (2014). The HEXACO honesty-humility, agreeableness, and emotionality factors: a review of research and theory. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18(2), 139–152.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Asparouhov, T., & Muthén, B. O. (2010). Weighted least squares estimation with missing data. Mplus Technical Appendices. Retrieved from http://www.statmodel.com/download/GstrucMissingRevision.pdf.
  6. Baams, L., Dubas, J. S., Overbeek, G., & Van Aken, M. A. (2015). Transitions in body and behavior: a meta-analytic study on the relationship between pubertal development and adolescent sexual behavior. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(6), 586–598.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Ball, H. A., Arseneault, L., Taylor, A., Maughan, B., Caspi, A., & Moffitt, T. E. (2008). Genetic and environmental influences on victims, bullies and bully-victims in childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 49(1), 104–112.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Book, A. S., Volk, A. A., & Hosker, A. (2012). Adolescent bullying and personality: an adaptive approach. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(2), 218–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Book, A., Visser, B. A., & Volk, A. A. (2015). Unpacking “evil”: claiming the core of the dark triad. Personality and Individual Differences, 73, 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Book, A., Visser, B. A., Blais, J., Hosker-Field, A., Methot-Jones, T., Gauthier, N. Y., et al. (2016). Unpacking more “evil”: what is at the core of the dark tetrad? Personality and Individual Differences, 90, 269–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bourdage, J. S., Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., & Perry, A. (2007). Big Five and HEXACO model personality correlates of sexuality. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(6), 1506–1516.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brener, N. D., Billy, J. O., & Grady, W. R. (2003). Assessment of factors affecting the validity of self-reported health-risk behavior among adolescents: evidence from the scientific literature. Journal of Adolescent Health, 33(6), 436–457.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. de Bruyn, E. H., Cillessen, A. H., & Weisfeld, G. E. (2012). Dominance-popularity status, behavior, and the emergence of sexual activity in young adolescents. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(2), 296–319.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Buss, D. M. (1991). Conflict in married couples: personality predictors of anger and upset. Journal of Personality, 59, 663–688.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Buss, D. M., & Shackelford, T. K. (1997). Human aggression in evolutionary psychological perspective. Clinical Psychology Review, 17(6), 605–619.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Campbell, A. (2013). The evolutionary psychology of women’s aggression. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 368, 20130078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Claxton, S. E., & van Dulmen, M. H. (2013). Casual sexual relationships and experiences in emerging adulthood. Emerging Adulthood, 1(2), 138–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Connolly, I., & O'Moore, M. (2003). Personality and family relations of children who bully. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(3), 559–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Connolly, J., Craig, W., Goldberg, A., & Pepler, D. (2004). Mixed-gender groups, dating, and romantic relationships in early adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 14(2), 185–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Coolidge, F. L., DenBoer, J. W., & Segal, D. L. (2004). Personality and neuropsychological correlates of bullying behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(7), 1559–1569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Craig, W., Harel-Fisch, Y., Fogel-Grinvald, H., Dostaler, S., Hetland, J., Simons-Morton, B., et al. (2009). A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adolescents in 40 countries. International Journal of Public Health, 54, 216–224.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  22. Crick, N. R., & Dodge, K. A. (1999). ‘Superiority’ is in the eye of the beholder: a comment on Sutton, Smith, and Swettenham. Social Development, 8(1), 128–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dane, A. V., Marini, Z. A., Volk, A. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (2017). Physical and relational bullying and victimization: differential relations with adolescent dating and sexual behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 43(2), 111–122.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Dir, A. L., Coskunpinar, A., & Cyders, M. A. (2014). A meta-analytic review of the relationship between adolescent risky sexual behavior and impulsivity across gender, age, and race. Clinical Psychology Review, 34(7), 551–562.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Ellis, B. J., Del Giudice, M., Dishion, T. J., Figueredo, A. J., Gray, P., Griskevicius, V., Hawley, P. H., et al (2012). The evolutionary basis of risky adolescent behavior: Implications for science, policy, and practice. Developmental Psychology, 48(3), 598–623.Google Scholar
  26. Ellis, B. J., Volk, A. A., Gonzalez, J. M., & Embry, D. D. (2015). The meaningful roles intervention: an evolutionary approach to reducing bullying and increasing prosocial Behavior. Journal of Research on Adolescence.Google Scholar
  27. Endresen, I. M., & Olweus, D. (2002). Self-reported empathy in Norwegian adolescents: sex-differences, age trends, and relationship to bullying. In D. Stipek & A. Bohart (Eds.), Constructive and destructive behavior. Implications for family, school, society (pp. 147–165). Washington: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  28. Farrell, A. H., Della Cioppa, V., Volk, A. A., & Book, A. S. (2014). Predicting bullying heterogeneity with the HEXACO model of personality. International Journal of Advances in Psychology, 3(2), 30–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications Ltd..Google Scholar
  30. Finer, L. B., & Philbin, J. M. (2013). Sexual initiation, contraceptive use, and pregnancy among young adolescents. Pediatrics, 131(5), 886–891.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Fisher, M., & Cox, A. (2009). The influence of female attractiveness on competitor derogation. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7(2), 141–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Foster, J. D., Shrira, I., & Campbell, W. K. (2006). Theoretical models of narcissism, sexuality, and relationship commitment. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 23(3), 367–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Frey, K. S., Pearson, C. R., & Cohen, D. (2015). Revenge is seductive, if not sweet: why friends matter for prevention efforts. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 37, 25–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Gallup, A. C., White, D. D., & Gallup, G. G. (2007). Handgrip strength predicts sexual behavior, body morphology, and aggression in male college students. Evolution and Human Behavior, 28(6), 423–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gallup, A. C., O'Brien, D. T., & Wilson, D. S. (2011). Intrasexual peer aggression and dating behavior during adolescence: an evolutionary perspective. Aggressive Behavior, 37(3), 258–267.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Grello, C. M., Welsh, D. P., Harper, M. S., & Dickson, J. W. (2003). Dating and sexual relationship trajectories and adolescent functioning. Adolescent and Family Health, 3(3), 103–112.Google Scholar
  37. Hazler, R. J., Carney, J. V., & Granger, D. A. (2006). Integrating biological measures into the study of bullying. Journal of Counseling & Development, 84, 298–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Heaven, P. C., Fitzpatrick, J., Craig, F. L., Kelly, P., & Sebar, G. (2000). Five personality factors and sex: preliminary findings. Personality and Individual Differences, 28(6), 1133–1141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hoyle, R. H., Fejfar, M. C., & Miller, J. D. (2000). Personality and sexual risk taking: a quantitative review. Journal of Personality, 68(6), 1203–1231.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Jolliffe, D., & Farrington, D. P. (2004). Empathy and offending: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9, 441–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Jonason, P. K., Li, N. P., Webster, G. D., & Schmitt, D. P. (2009). The dark triad: facilitating a short-term mating strategy in men. European Journal of Personality, 23(1), 5–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jonason, P. K., Koenig, B., & Tost, J. (2010). Living a fast life: the dark triad and life history theory. Human Nature, 21, 428–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Jordan, M. R., Amir, D., & Bloom, P. (2016). Are empathy and concern psychologically distinct? Emotion, 16(8), 1107–1116.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Kanazawa, S. (2003). Can evolutionary psychology explain reproductive behavior in the contemporary United States? Sociological Quarterly, 44, 291–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kline, R. B. (2016). Principles and practice of structural equational modeling (4th ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  46. Koh, J. B., & Wong, J. S. (2015). Survival of the fittest and the sexiest evolutionary origins of adolescent bullying. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 0886260515593546.Google Scholar
  47. Larochette, A. C., Murphy, A. N., & Craig, W. M. (2010). Racial bullying and victimization in Canadian school-aged children: individual and school level effects. School Psychology International, 31(4), 389–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2004). Psychometric properties of the HEXACO personality inventory. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 39(2), 329–358.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2009). The HEXACO personality inventory-revised: a measure of the six major dimensions of personality. Retrieved from http://hexaco.org/hexaco-inventory.
  50. Lee, K., & Ashton, M. C. (2012). The H factor of personality: why some people are manipulative, self-entitled, materialistic, and exploitative—and why it matters for everyone. Waterloo: Wilfried Laurier University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., Morrison, D. L., Cordery, D., & Dunlop, P. D. (2008). Predicting integrity with the HEXACO personality model: use of self- and observer reports. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 81, 147–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lee, K., Ashton, M. C., Wiltshire, J., Bourdage, J. S., Visser, B. A., & Gallucci, A. (2013). Sex, power, and money: prediction from the dark triad and honesty–humility. European Journal of Personality, 27(2), 169–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Leenaars, L. S., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2008). Evolutionary perspective on indirect victimization in adolescence: the role of attractiveness, dating and sexual behavior. Aggressive Behavior, 34(4), 404–415.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Manson, J. H. (2015). Life history strategy and the HEXACO personality dimensions. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(1), 147470491501300104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Marsee, M. A., Barry, C. T., Childs, K. K., Frick, P. J., Kimonis, E. R., Muñoz, L. C., et al. (2011). Assessing the forms and functions of aggression using self-report: Factor structure and invariance of the Peer Conflict Scale in youths. Psychological Assessment, 23(3), 792–804.Google Scholar
  56. Marshall, W. L., Hudson, S. M., Jones, R., & Fernandez, Y. M. (1995). Empathy in sex offenders. Clinical Psychology Review, 15(2), 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Miller, J. D., Lynam, D., Zimmerman, R. S., Logan, T. K., Leukefeld, C., & Clayton, R. (2004). The utility of the five factor model in understanding risky sexual behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 36(7), 1611–1626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mitsopoulou, E., & Giovazolias, T. (2015). Personality traits, empathy and bullying behavior: a meta-analytic approach. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 21, 61–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Monks, C. P., Smith, P. K., Naylor, P., Barter, C., Ireland, J. L., & Coyne, I. (2009). Bullying in different contexts: commonalities, differences, and the role of theory. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 14, 146–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Morrison-Beedy, D., Carey, M. P., & Tu, X. (2006). Accuracy of audio computer-assisted self-interviewing (ACASI) and self-administered questionnaires for the assessment of sexual behavior. AIDS and Behavior, 10(5), 541–552.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  61. Muthén, L., & Muthén, B. O. (1998-2017). Mplus. User’s guide. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.Google Scholar
  62. Nettle, D. (2005). An evolutionary approach to the extraversion continuum. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(4), 363–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Pearl, J. (2012). The causal foundations of structural equational modeling. In R. R. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of structural equational modeling (pp. 68–91). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  64. Pellegrini, A. D., & Long, J. D. (2003). A sexual selection theory longitudinal analysis of sexual segregation and integration in early adolescence. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 85(3), 257–278.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  65. Pontzer, D. (2010). A theoretical test of bullying behavior: parenting, personality, and the bully/victim relationship. Journal of Family Violence, 25(3), 259–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Reijntjes, A., Vermande, M., Goossens, F. A., Olthof, T., van de Schoot, R., Aleva, L., & van der Meulen, M. (2013). Developmental trajectories of bullying and social dominance in youth. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(4), 224–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Schmitt, D. P. (2005). Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: a 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 247–275.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. Schmitt, D. P., & Shackelford, T. K. (2008). Big Five traits related to short-term mating: from personality to promiscuity across 46 nations. Evolutionary Psychology, 6(2), 147470490800600204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Shimberg, J., Josephs, L., & Grace, L. (2016). Empathy as mediator of attitudes toward infidelity among college students. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 42(4), 353–368.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Shrout, P. E., & Bolger, N. (2002). Mediation in experimental and nonexperimental studies: new procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods, 7(4), 422–445.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. Steinberg, L. (2004). Risk taking in adolescence: what changes, and why? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1021(1), 51–58.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  72. Vaillancourt, T. (2013). Do human females use indirect aggression as an intrasexual competition strategy? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1631), 20130080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Volk, A. A., & Lagzdins, L. (2009). Bullying and victimization among adolescent girl athletes. Athletic Insight, 11(1), 12–25.Google Scholar
  74. Volk, A., Craig, W., Boyce, W., & King, M. (2006). Adolescent risk correlates of bullying and different types of victimization. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 18(4), 575–586.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  75. Volk, A. A., Camilleri, J. A., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2012). Is adolescent bullying an evolutionary adaptation? Aggressive Behavior, 38(3), 222–238.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  76. Volk, A. A., Dane, A. V., & Marini, Z. A. (2014). What is bullying? A theoretical redefinition. Developmental Review, 34(4), 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Volk, A.A., Dane, A.V., Marini, Z.A., & Vaillancourt, T. (2015). Adolescent bullying, dating, and mating: testing an evolutionary hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(4), doi: 1474704915613909.Google Scholar
  78. de Vries, R. E., de Vries, A., & Feij, J. A. (2009). Sensation seeking, risk-taking, and the HEXACO model of personality. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(6), 536–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Wang, J., Iannotti, R. J., & Luk, J. W. (2012). Patterns of adolescent bullying behaviors: Physical, verbal, exclusion, rumor, and cyber. Journal of School Psychology, 50(4), 521–534.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  80. Warden, D., & Mackinnon, S. (2003). Prosocial children, bullies and victims: an investigation of their sociometric status, empathy and social problem-solving strategies. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 21, 367–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Watson, P. J., & Morris, R. J. (1991). Narcissism, empathy and social desirability. Personality & Individual Differences, 12(6), 575–579.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wheeler, J. G., George, W. H., & Dahl, B. J. (2002). Sexually aggressive college males: empathy as a moderator in the “confluence model” of sexual aggression. Personality and Individual Differences, 33(5), 759–775.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Yeager, D. S., Fong, C. J., Lee, H. Y., & Espelage, D. L. (2015). Declines in efficacy of anti-bullying programs among older adolescents: theory and a three-level meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 37, 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., & Helfland, M. (2008). Ten years of longitudinal research on U.S. adolescent sexual behavior: developmental correlates of sexual intercourse, and the importance of age, gender and ethnic background. Developmental Review, 28, 153–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J., Siebenbruner, J., & Collins, W. A. (2001). Diverse aspects of dating: associations with psychosocial functioning from early to middle adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 24, 313–336.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Provenzano
    • 1
  • Andrew V. Dane
    • 2
  • Ann H. Farrell
    • 2
  • Zopito A. Marini
    • 3
  • Anthony A. Volk
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WindsorWindsorUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesUSA
  3. 3.Department of Child and Youth StudiesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesUSA

Personalised recommendations