A latent variable model of developmental instability in relation to men's sexual behaviour

S. W. Gangestad, K. L. Bennett, R. Thornhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations
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A single trait's fluctuating asymmetry (FA) is expected to be a poor measure of developmental instability. Hence, studies that examine associations between FA and outcomes expected to covary with developmental instability often have little power in detecting meaningful relationships. One way of increasing the power of detecting relationships between developmental instability and outcomes is through the use of multiple traits' FA. The way multiple traits have typically been used is in trait aggregates. Here, we illustrate another way of examining relationships with developmental instability using multiple traits' FA: through structural equation modelling. Covariances between measures of FA and an outcome variable are interpreted within the context of an explicit model of associations between variables, which is tested for fit and the parameters specified within the model are estimated. We used nine traits' FA as markers of a latent variable of men's developmental instability, which was associated with the number of sexual partners. The results indicate a sizeable correlation between developmental instability and men's sexual history, despite small correlations between individual traits' FA and sexual history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1677-1684
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1477
StatePublished - Aug 22 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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