So much for playing hard to get—a new study shows that people who behave more altruistically, or in other words, are simply nicer and more thoughtful of others, have more sex. Published in the British Journal of Psychology, the study sought to understand the effect of "non-kin altruism" on sexual selection, and the results were somewhat surprising.
The study was split into two different experiments. In the first, 192 women and 105 men were instructed to fill out a self-report on altruistic behaviors. Those scoring high on the altruism scale also reported a higher number of sexual partners, more casual sex, and sex more often within relationships. In the second, participants were asked about their willingness to engage in certain selfless acts, like donating potential monetary winnings and giving blood. Again, those who were more receptive to these altruistic behaviors were more sexually active overall. Interestingly enough, this effect was amplified among male participants, who were sexually rewarded for their altruistic behavior more often than not.
While we'd like to believe that being a nice person will help you in the relationship department, the study was largely based on self-reporting versus objective experimentation, leaving plenty of room for error. It's safe to say that there could have been some generous over-reporting going on, especially when you consider the subject matter.
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