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J Sex Res. 2018 Nov-Dec;55(9):1206-1218. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2017.1420750. Epub 2018 Jan 26.

Predicting Short- and Long-Term Mating Orientations: The Role of Sex and the Dark Tetrad.

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a School of Health Science and Psychology , Federation University Australia.


Previous literature has extensively considered factors that influence short- and long-term mating orientations, with specific attention given to individual differences (e.g., sex and personality). Although research has established the role "darker" personality traits (i.e., the dark triad) play in mating orientation, this triad has recently been reconceptualized as a tetrad. Due to this reconceptualization, the current study sought to establish the utility of sex and the dark tetrad in predicting individual short- and long-term mating orientations. In addition, as an alternative to previous methodology, the orientations were assessed using a continuous measure. A total of 464 participants, ages 18 to 69, completed an online questionnaire assessing dark tetrad traits and mating orientations. Results showed that sex, trait psychopathy, and trait sadism were significant predictors of a short-term mating orientation. For long-term mating orientations, there was no predictive utility of sex, but there were positive associations for narcissism and negative associations for psychopathy and sadism. These findings add further understanding of the predictors of mating orientation and the utility of the tetrad in predicting mating orientations. In addition, the findings offer future mating orientation studies an alternative measure to the traditional dichotomous format.

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