Prof. David M. Buss
University of Texas at Austin, US
THE EVOLUTION OF SEXUAL MORALITY
Standards of morality are fundamental features of human psychology. They guide people’s individual conduct. They determine the rewards and punishments people impose on others. And they define criteria by which individual reputations rise or fall. No domain of human conduct is more heavily moralized than sexuality and mating. Moralized sexual conduct includes monogamy-polygamy, incest, appropriate age of sexual debut, homosexuality, fidelity-infidelity, mate poaching, sexual exploitation, prostitution, and various forms of sexual treachery. Astonishingly, theories of morality have almost entirely neglected sexual conduct. We present an evolutionary framework that articulates 10 classes of adaptations required to understand different facets of sexual morality. This framework explains sexual double standards, perspectival shifts in sexual morality, and moral hypocrisy. Empirical studies discover strong sex differences in sexual morality, as well as important personality predictors of individual differences in sexual morality. Discussion focuses expanding personality psychology to more fully encompass the moral domain, of which sexual morality is central and an evolutionary perspective indispensable.
The accompanying Invited Symposium will be organized and chaired by Prof. Wojciech Pisula, Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland