Does unrestricted sociosexual behaviour have a shared genetic basis with sexual coercion?

M Westerlund, Pekka Santtila, A Johansson, M Varjonen, K Witting, Patrik Jern, Katarina Alanko, Kenneth Sandnabba

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Sociosexual orientation refers to the differences between individuals in willingness to engage in uncommitted sexual relations. According to evolutionary theory, much of the variation in sociosexual orientation results from different evolved mating strategies and could reflect heritable factors. Previous research has identified an association between unrestricted sociosexual behaviour and sexual coercion. The major objective with this study was to (a) to replicate this association and (b) to explore whether the two phenotypes would share a genetic basis using a Finnish population based sample of male twins and their siblings (n = 4645). Sexual coercion correlated positively with unrestricted sociosexual behaviour (r(p) = 0.20) and unrestricted sociosexual attitudes (r(p) = 0.07). Genetic effects influenced sociosexual behaviour (54%), sociosexual attitudes (23%), and sexual coercion (20-25%). Also, genetic correlations, i.e. common genetic basis, were found between the phenotypes of sociosexuality and sexual coercion. The results of this study can contribute to the understanding of sociosexual orientation, sexual coercion and their possible underlying factors. Identifying correlates of sexual coercion is essential in developing preventive measures.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)5–23
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • environment
  • extended twin study
  • genes
  • sexual coercion
  • sociosexuality

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