McKibbin, W.F., Shackelford, T.K., Miner, E. J., Bates, V. M., & Liddle, J. R. (2011). Individual differences in women’s rape avoidance behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 343-349.

Individual Differences in Women’s Rape Avoidance Behaviors

William F. McKibbin, Todd K. Shackelford, Emily J. Miner, Vincent M. Bates & James R. Liddle


Rape can exact severe psychological, physical, and reproductive costs on women, and likely was a recurrent adaptive problem over human evolutionary history. Therefore, women may have evolved psychological mechanisms that motivate rape avoidance behaviors. Guided heuristically by an evolutionary perspective, we tested the hypothesis that women’s rape avoidance behaviors would vary with several individual difference variables. Specifically, we predicted that rape avoidance behaviors would covary positively with (1) women’s attractiveness, (2) women’s involvement in a committed romantic relationship, and (3) the number of family members living nearby. We also predicted that women’s rape avoidance behaviors would covary negatively with age. We administered the Rape Avoidance Inventory (McKibbin et al.,Pers Indiv Differ 39:336–340, 2009) and a demographic survey to a sample of women (n=144). The results of correlational and regression analyses were consistent with the predictions, with the exception that women’s rape avoidance behaviors did not covary with women’s age. Discussion highlighted limitations of the current research and directions for future research on women’s rape avoidance psychology and behaviors.

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McKibbin, W. F., Starratt, V. G., Shackelford, T. K., & Goetz, A. T. (2011). Perceived risk of female infidelity moderates the relationship between objective risk of female infidelity and sexual coercion in Humans (Homo sapiens). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 125, 370-373.

Perceived Risk of Female Infidelity Moderates the Relationship Between Objective Risk of Female Infidelity and Sexual Coercion in Humans (Homo sapiens)

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


Female extrapair copulation (EPC) can be costly to a woman’s long-term romantic partner. If a woman has copulated recently with a man other than her long-term partner, her reproductive tract may contain the sperm of both men, initiating sperm competition (whereby sperm from multiple males compete to fertilize an egg). Should the woman become pregnant, her long-term partner is at risk of cuckoldry—investing unwittingly in offspring to whom he is not genetically related. Previous research in humans (Homo sapiens) and in nonhuman animals suggests that males have evolved tactics such as partner-directed sexual coercion that reduce the risk of cuckoldry. The current research provides preliminary evidence that mated men (n  223) at greater risk of partner EPC, measured as having spent a greater proportion of time apart from their partner since the couple’s last in-pair copulation, more frequently perform partner-directed sexually coercive behaviors. This relationship is moderated, however, by men’s perceived risk of partner EPC, such that the correlation between the proportion of time spent apart since last in-pair copulation and sexually coercive behaviors remains significant only for those men who perceive themselves to be at some risk of partner EPC. Discussion addresses limitations of this research and highlights directions for future research investigating the relationship between female EPC and men’s partner-directed sexual coercion.

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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.

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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.

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