Steven Gaulin

Steven Gaulin
2014-2015 Academic Senate Distinguished Teacher

Contact Phone

(805) 893-7402

Office Location

HSSB 1016


Integrative Anthropological Sciences, with special interests in evolutionary psychology, cognitive adaptations, the human voice, sexual selection, evolution of sex differences, lipid metabolism and brain evolution.



B.A., Anthropology and Psychology, University of California Berkeley

Ph.D., Anthropology, Harvard University



Research Interests

Professor Gaulin has two cross-fertilizing research interests: the influence of sexual selection on human anatomy, physiology, cognition and behavior; and evolutionary psychology.  His research involves a wide range of field and laboratory techniques and has been published in books and journals that span evolutionary theory, ecology, anthropology, psychology and philosophy of science.  He is senior author of a leading textbook (Evolutionary Psychology 2nd edition, Prentice Hall), and has recently completed a 10-year term as Co-editor-in-Chief of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.



The influence of sexual selection on the human voice.

The evolution of sex differences in spatial behavior and cognition.

The evolution of female fat metabolism and its effects on male mating preferences.

Effects of dietary fatty acids on cognitive function and mental health.




Hodges-Simeon, C. R., M. Gurven & S. J. C. Gaulin (2015). "The low male voice is a costly signal of phenotypic quality among Bolivian adolescents." Evolution and Human Behavior 36: 294-302.

Miner, E. J., M. Gurven, H. Kaplan, & S. J. C. Gaulin (2015). "Sex difference in travel is concentrated in adolescence and tracks reproductive interests." Proceedings of the Royal Society B.: 281: 20141476.

Hodges-Simeon, C. R., M. Gurven, D. A. Puts, & S. J. C. Gaulin (2014). "Vocal fundamental and formant frequencies are honest signals of threat potential in peripubertal males." Behavioral Ecology 25: 984–988. doi:10.1093/beheco/aru081

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin (2014). "Linoleic and docosahexaenoic acids in human milk have opposite relationships with cognitive test performance in a sample of 28 countries." Prostaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids 91: 195-210.

Hanson Sobraske, K., S. J. C Gaulin, & J. S. Boster (2014). "Functional variation in sensitivity to cues that a partner is cheating with a rival." Archives of Sexual Behavior 43: 1267–1279. DOI 10.1007/s10508-014-0283-5

Hanson Sobraske, K., J. S. Boster, & S. J. C. Gaulin (2013). "Mapping the Conceptual Space of Jealousy." Ethos 41: 249-270.

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin (in press) “Breast milk DHA content predicts cognitive performance in a sample of 28 nations.”  Maternal and Child Nutrition:

Hodges-Simeon, C. R., M. D. Gurven, R. Cárdenas, & S. J. C. Gaulin (2013). “Voice change as a new measure of male pubertal timing: A study among Bolivian adolescents.”  Annals of Human Biology 40: 209-219.

Martin, M. A., W. D. Lassek, S. J. C. Gaulin, R. W. Evans, J. G. Woo, S. R. Geraghty, B. S. Davidson, A. L. Morrow, H. S. Kaplan, & M. D. Gurven (2012). “Fatty acid composition in the mature milk of Bolivian forager-horticulturalists: controlled comparisons with a US sample.”  Maternal and Child Nutrition 8: 404-418.

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin (2011).  “Sex differences in the relationship of dietary fatty acids to cognitive measures in American children.” Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, 3:5. doi: 10.3389/fnevo.2011.00005

Krasnow, M., D. Truxaw, S. J. C. Gaulin, J. New, H. Ozono, S. Uono, T. Ueno, & K. Minemoto (2011) “Cognitive adaptations for gathering-related navigation in humans.”  Evolution and Human Behavior 32: 1-12.

Hodges-Simeon, C. R., S. J. C. Gaulin & D. A. Puts (2010) “Voice correlates of mating success in men: Examining ‘contests’ versus ‘mate choice’ modes of sexual selection.”  Archives of Sexual Behavior 40: 551-557.

Hodges-Simeon, C. R., S. J. C. Gaulin & D. A. Puts (2010) “Different vocal parameters predict perceptions of dominance and attractiveness.”  Human Nature 21: 406-427.

Perilloux, H. K., G. D. Webster & S. J. C. Gaulin (2010) "Signals of genetic quality and maternal investment capacity: The dynamic effects of fluctuating asymmetry and waist-to-hip ratio on men’s ratings of women’s attractiveness."  Social Psychological and Personality Science 1: 34-42.

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin  (2009)  “Costs and benefits of fat-free muscle mass in men: relationship to mating success, dietary requirements, and native immunity.”  Evolution and Human Behavior 30: 322-328.

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin (2008) “Waist-hip ratio and cognitive ability: Is gluteofemoral fat a privileged store of neurodevelopmental resources?” Evolution and Human Behavior 29: 26-34.

New, J., M. M. Krasnow, D. Truxaw & S. J. C. Gaulin (2007) “Spatial adaptations for plant foraging: Women excel and calories count.”  Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 274: 2679-2684.  (DOI:10.1098/rspb.2007.0826).

Puts, D. A., C. R. Hodges, R. A. Cárdenas & S. J. C. Gaulin (2007) “Men’s voices as dominance signals: Vocal fundamental and formant frequencies influence dominance attributions among men.”  Evolution and Human Behavior 28: 340-344.

Lassek, W. D. & S. J. C. Gaulin (2007) “Menarche is related to fat distribution.”  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 133: 1147-1151 (DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20644).

Lassek, W. D., & S. J. C. Gaulin (2006) “Changes in body fat distribution in relation to parity in American women: A covert form of maternal depletion.”  American Journal of Physical Anthropology 131: 295-302.

Puts, D. A., S. J. C. Gaulin, & K. Verdolini (2006) “Dominance and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in human voice pitch.” Evolution and Human Behavior 27: 283-296.

Putz, D. A., S. J. C. Gaulin, R. J. Sporter, & D. H. McBurney (2004) “Sex hormones and finger length: What does 2D:4D indicate?” Evolution and Human Behavior 25: 182-199.


Gaulin, S. J. C. and D. H. McBurney (2001)  Psychology: An Evolutionary Approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Gaulin, S. J. C. and D. H. McBurney (2004)  Evolutionary Psychology (new title for second  edition).   Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Gaulin, S. J. C. (2010).  Human Evolution: Processes and Adaptations.  San Diego: Cognella.

Lassek, W. D. and S. J. C. Gaulin (2011).  Why Women Need Fat.  New York: Hudson Street/Penguin Group.

Gaulin, S. J. C. (2013).  Human Evolution: Processes and Adaptations, second edition. San Diego: Cognella.