The Dark Triad: Beyond a ‘male’ mating strategy
Gregory Louis Carter a,⇑, Anne C. Campbell a, Steven Muncer b
The Dark Triad (DT: sub-clinical narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy) is argued to facilitate a male short-term mating strategy. The trait constellation in women and its potential adaptive benefits has received less attention. We examined the prevalence and correlates of DT in a large community sample (N = 899). Despite finding expected sex differences in Sensation-seeking, Competitiveness, strength of sexual motivation, recreational sex behaviors and neuroticism, we found no sex difference in DT scores. Furthermore, within-sex multiple regressions identified the same predictors of DT score with similar weightings. Moderation analysis confirmed regression equations did not differ by sex. We propose that focus on DT as a male adaptation to short-term mating has been overstated and that men’s greater preference for casual sexual encounters is not explained by DT traits.