Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., & McKibbin, W. F. (2008). The Mate Retention Inventory-Short Form (MRI-SF). Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 322-334.

 The Mate Retention Inventory-Short Form (MRI-SF)

David M. Buss a, Todd K. Shackelford b, William F. McKibbin b

  University of Texas, Austin
Florida Atlantic University

 People devote considerable effort to retaining their mates. Mate retention tactics range from vigilance to
violence, and are linked to variables such as marital satisfaction and relationship aggression. The Mate
Retention Inventory (MRI; 104 items comprising 19 tactics) has proven to be reliable and valid. Given
the importance of assessing mate retention in various contexts, there is a need for a briefer version of
the MRI. In Study 1 (N = 1032), we develop a short form of the MRI (the MRI-SF), which assesses performance
of 19 mate retention tactics using two items per tactic. The tactic scales show internal consistency,
high correlations with the MRI long-form tactic scales, and links with assessments of controlling behavior,
relationship violence, and an assessment of injury. Study 2 (N = 625) replicates the MRI-SF reliability and
high correlations with the MRI long-form tactic scales, and shows links to a sexual coercion measure. We
conclude that the MRI-SF is sufficiently reliable and valid that it can be used in basic and applied research
in place of the MRI long-form for most purposes.

Read more

Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., Starratt, V. G., & McKibbin, W. F. (2008). Intimate partner violence. In J. D. Duntley & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary forensic psychology (pp. 65-78). New York: Oxford University Press.

 Intimate Partner Violence

Aaron T. Goetz, Todd K. Shackelford, Valerie G. Starratt, and William F. McKibbin

 The theory of evolution by natural selection revolutionized the study of biology. So too is it revolutionizing the study of human psychology and behavior. Charles Darwin himself predicted, “Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history” (1859, p. 488). Modern evolutionary psychological perspectives have been used to predict and understand a diverse array of human behaviors, such as altruism, mating, and violence. In the past few decades, many psychologists have begun to recognize the value of using an evolutionary perspective to guide their research. With a focus on evolved mechanisms and associated information-processing features, evolutionary psychology has risen as a powerful heuristic tool for the study of human psychology and behavior. Evolutionary psychology leads researchers to look at old phenomena in a different light. Such a new perspective potentially offers powerful insights into human psychology and behavior. In this chapter, we use the tools provided by evolutionary theory to explore why violence and abuse occur between intimate partners. Specifically, we focus our discussion on physical and sexual intimate partner violence.

Read more

McKibbin, W.F., & Shackelford, T.K. (2008). Review of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Human Ethology Bulletin, 23, 6-8.

 The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
By Michael Pollan

Reviewed by William F. McKibbin & Todd K. Shackelford

Florida Atlantic University

The Omnivore’s Dilemma is the latest book by Michael Pollan, best known for his previous bestselling work, The Botany of Desire. Here, Pollan has crafted a well written and enjoyable exploration of humans’ relationship to food. The book is written for a lay audience, but is appreciable by all.

Read more

McKibbin, W. F., Shackelford, T. K., Goetz, A.T., & Starratt, V. G. (2008) Evolutionary psychological perspectives on rape. In J. Duntley and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary forensic psychology. (pp. 101-120). New York: Oxford University Press.

 Evolutionary Psychological Perspectives on Rape

William F. McKibbin, Todd K. Shackelford, Aaron T. Goetz, and Valerie G. Starratt

…This chapter reviews the topic of rape from a modern evolutionary psychological perspective (see, e.g., Barkow, Cosmides, & Tooby, 1992; Buss, 2004). Evolutionary psychology is a powerful heuristic tool that can be used to generate new, testable hypotheses across all domains of psychology. Evolutionary psychology rests on several key premises (Buss, 2004). The fi rst premise states that natural selection is the only known process capable of producing complex functional systems such as the human brain. The complexity of human behavior can only be understood completely by taking into account human evolutionary history and natural selection. Second, behavior depends on evolved psychological mechanisms . These are information-processing mechanisms housed in the brain that register and process specific information and generate as output specific behaviors, physiological activity, or input relayed to other psychological mechanisms. Third, evolved psychological mechanisms are functionally specialized to perform a specific task or to solve a specific problem that recurrently affected reproductive success over evolutionary history. This premise is often referred to as domain specificity . Finally, the numerousness premise states that human brains consist of many specific evolved psychological mechanisms that work together to produce behavior. Together with a number of other theoretical tools and heuristics provided by modern evolutionary theory, these premises are used to generate evolutionary theories of psychology and behavior.

Read more

McKibbin, W.F., Shackelford, T. K., Goetz, A. T., & Starratt, V. G. (2008). Why do men rape? An evolutionary psychological perspective. Review of General Psychology, 12, 86-97.

Why Do Men Rape? An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective

William F. McKibbin, Todd K. Shackelford, Aaron T. Goetz, and Valerie G. Starratt

Florida Atlantic University

Rape of women by men has occurred throughout recorded history and across cultures. In this article, we discuss rape from an evolutionary psychological perspective. Evolutionary psychology is a powerful heuristic tool that allows researchers to develop and test novel hypotheses about complex behaviors such as rape. Some researchers have argued that men have evolved psychological mechanisms that motivate them to rape in specific contexts. We discuss evidence consistent with this claim, and argue that a more nuanced view of men’s rape behavior is necessary. We propose that it may be useful to characterize rapists as belonging to one of several types, distinguished by individual differences as well as by the circumstances in which they are predicted to commit rape. We discuss research evidence in support of each rapist type, as well as the need for future research. Finally, we discuss
research concerning women’s rape-avoidance psychology and behavior.

Read more

Starratt, V. G., Goetz, A. T., Shackelford, T. K., McKibbin, W. F., & Stewart-Williams, S. (2008) Men’s partner-directed insults and sexual coercion in intimate relationships. Journal of Family Violence, 23, 315-323.

Men’s Partner-Directed Insults and Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationships

Valerie G. Starratt & Aaron T. Goetz & Todd K. Shackelford & William F. McKibbin & Steve Stewart-Williams

Women who have been sexually coerced by an intimate partner experience many negative health consequences. Recent research has focused on predicting this sexual coercion. In two studies, we investigated the relationship between men’s use of partner-directed insults and sexually coercive behaviors in the context of intimate relationships. Study 1 secured self-reports from 247 men on the Partner-Directed Insults Scale and the Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationships Scale. Study 2 obtained partner reports from 378 women on the same measures. Across both studies, results indicate that men’s use of sexually coercive behaviors can be statistically predicted by the frequency and content of the insults that men direct at their intimate partner. Insults derogating a partner’s value as a person and accusing a partner of sexual infidelity were most useful in predicting sexual coercion. The discussion notes limitations of the current research and highlights directions for future research.

Read more