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Recently, converging evidence has suggested that altruism may play an important role in mate selection, thus highlighting a potentially important avenue along which good deeds done toward unrelated individuals (exemplified today by acts like donating blood or helping to push a stranger’s car out of the snow) may have evolved.This theory suggests that altruism may serve, in part, to convey one’s value as a mating partner, including one’s concern for others and likelihood of cooperating with future mates.
There is some evidence that personality traits associated with being a “jerk” such as low agreeableness and contentiousness, high extroversion and openness to experience, alongside narcissism, Machiavellianism (being manipulative), and psychopathy (callousness, lying, thrill-seeking) may indeed be linked to increased sexual behavior, particularly with respect to short-term mating.Research has shown that we prefer altruistic partners, all else being equal; especially for long-term mating (the evidence for altruism being preferred in short-term mates is mixed).Not surprisingly, then, the pull to demonstrate one’s altruism can be strong.Participants also completed a personality inventory, given the possibility that those with certain personality characteristics (such as being extroverted) might happen to engage in both more altruism and more sexual activity.We found that people who scored higher on altruism also reported they were more desirable to the opposite sex, had more sex partners, more casual sex partners, and had sex more often within relationships (although this latter finding was not statistically-significant after controlling for personality variables).“I think they are very career oriented, so sex before the first date could be a sex interview, where they want to know if they want to spend time with this person.”In many ways sex has become a less intimate part of dating, according to Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a certified sex therapist.
With dating and hookup apps making it easier than ever to hop in bed, now the intimate part can often times be introducing a partner to friends and family.“We used to think of sex as you crossed the line now you are in an intimate zone, but now sex is almost a given and it’s not the intimate part," Anderson said.
Still, this research combines with previous findings on the desirability of altruism and the tendency for men to compete in the realm of generosity.
Indeed, one of us has a female friend who would explicitly screen potential boyfriends based on whether they had donated blood: Others, it seems, may doing the same.
Men who were willing to donate also reported having more lifetime dating partners.
Conversely, personality traits (some of which comprise the “jerk” traits described earlier) did not relate meaningfully to sexual histories.
His research is focused broadly on mate selection and intrasexual competition in humans.