A study has found that men who have a larger range of personality traits are more likely to have sex more often than those who don’t, with the traits also having an impact on the likelihood of having children.
Carried out by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, the study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences involved about 3,000 heterosexual male participants, and 1,500 heterosexual females.
The researchers looked at five main personality traits. Those were extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. They are known as the “big five traits,” which recent research has suggested are important categories that describe most of us pretty well.
“Throughout history, competitive advantages have helped men and women achieve increased success in their occupation, sport, artistic endeavors, their ability to acquire and secure resources, and ultimately, their survival,” said co-author Dr Stephen Whyte in a statement.
“However, little is known about the advantages, or disadvantages, personality traits provide in relation to sexual activity and offspring success.”
They found that compared to women, men were much more reliant on personality factors when it came to sexual frequency and the chance of having children. Men who were more extroverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, but less agreeable, tended to have sex more often, while higher extraversion seemed to be the only factor that affected women.
As for children, high extraversion but low openness seemed to have the best results for men, whereas for women high agreeableness was deemed to be the most important factor.
"Our findings suggest that the greater variance in male traits and their particular combinations may provide an advantage for them when it comes to sex and reproduction but that doesn't appear to be the case for the women we analyzed," said Dr Whyte.
This isn’t the only personality study to be released recently. In September this year, a study published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour suggested that most people could be grouped into one of just four categories, based on the big five traits. These were average, reserved, role model, and self-centered.
Another study in September claimed to have found a trait that predicted future higher incomes, although that may not have necessarily been the case. And back in August, another study showed how your personality likely changes between the ages of 16 and 66.