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date: 28 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Men and women often come into conflict over issues of mating and sex. From an evolutionary perspective, we review the literature on attitudes toward casual sex, sexual intent, sexual harassment, rape, and deception of intent and mate value. Stemming from a key difference in parental investment (Trivers, 1972), men tend to be relatively eager for casual sexual partners, whereas women tend to be more cautious, requiring their sexual partners to be of higher quality or committed for a longer duration. This key difference, in turn, sets the stage whereby men and women negotiate their conflicted interests and enact their differing preferred mating strategies. As each side advances and protects its own reproductive interests, the other side’s strategy is necessarily interfered with and conflict ensues, sometimes with severe outcomes.

Keywords: sexual conflict, mating strategies, deception, sexual intent, sexual harassment, rape, mate value, sex differences, evolutionary psychology

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