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Rushton and Bogaert (1987) presented evidence of race differences in sexual behavior, sex-related physical characteristics, and sex-related physiological processes. They argued that these data supported a theory of genetic race differences in r/K reproductive strategies. Rushton and Bogaert’s (1987) article is criticized here on four grounds. First, they did not explain why natural selection would have favored different reproductive strategies for different races. Second, their data on race differences are of questionable validity because their literature review was selective and their original analyses were based on self-reports. Third, they provided no evidence that these race differences had significant effects on reproduction or that sexual restraint is a K characteristic. Finally, they did not adequately rule out environmental explanations for their data.


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© Elsevier. Final version published as: Lynn, M. (1989). Race differences in sexual behavior: A critique of Rushton and Bogaert’s evolutionary hypothesis. Journal of Research in Personality, 23(1), 1-6. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.