Catherine Salmon

HAST Director; Professor, Psychology

Catherine Salmon

Areas of expertise

  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Family relationships
  • Human sexuality
  • Primary research interests include birth order and the family, reproductive suppression and dieting behavior, female sexuality (pornography use and influence of hormones), and human-animal relations. 


Ph.D., Psychology, McMaster University

BSc., Biology, McMaster University

For the Media

Contact :
Media Relations


Larsen Hall
P: 909.748.8672

Meet Catherine Salmon

Dr. Salmon is the co-author (with Donald Symons) of "Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality" as well as “The Secret Power of Middle Children” in collaboration with Katrin Schumann. She has written chapters in numerous books including “The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology” and is an associate editor at the journal Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, as well as the co-editor of the books “Evolutionary Psychology: Public Policy and Personal Decisions” (with Charles Crawford) and “Family Psychology: An Evolutionary Perspective” (with Todd Shackelford).


Courses Offered

Introduction to Psychology

Evolutionary Psychology

Human Sexuality

Psychology of Criminal Behavior


Areas of expertise are evolutionary psychology, and human sexuality

Primary research interests include birth order and the family, reproductive suppression and dieting behavior, and female sexuality, particularly with regard to prostitution and pornography


Varella, M. A. C., Salmon, C., Dixson, B. J. W., Butovskaya, M., Pinto, A., Pawlowski, B., ... & Valentova, J. V. (2023). A 150 years' celebration of Darwin's book on human evolution and sexual selection: its legacy and future prospects. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1217889.

Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Sarraf, M. A., Kruger, D. J., & Salmon, C. (2023). Soft Core Evolutionary Psychology? Potential Evidence Against a Unified Research Program from a Survey of 581 Evolutionarily Informed Scholars. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1-10.

Figueredo, A. J., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Salmon, C., & Steklis, N. G. (2023). The relation of clade-specific biophilia to the construct of animality. Evolutionary Psychological Science, DOI:10.1007/s40806-023-00360-5

Hehman, J.A., Burch, R.L. & Salmon, C.A. Sibling Conflict and Closeness: The Effects of Sex, Number of Siblings, Relatedness, Parental Resemblance and Investment. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 9, 224–235 (2023).

Kruger, D.J., Fisher, M.L., & Salmon, C. (2023). What do evolutionary researchers believe about human psychology and behavior? Evolution and Human Behavior, 44, 11-18.

Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Figueredo, A. J., Steklis, N. G., & Salmon, C. (2023). The role of cross-species relative brain size variation and time since domestication in explaining human empathy towards domesticated mammals. Personality and Individual Differences, 200, 111914.

Salmon, C., Hehman, J.A., & Figueredo, A.J. (2023). Pornography’s ubiquitous external ejaculation: Predictors of perceptions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 52, 431-442.

Salmon, C., & Hehman, J. (2022). The importance of ecological validity, ultimate causation, and natural categories. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 45, E92.

Figueredo, A. J., Steklis, N. G., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Fernandes, H. B. F., Cabeza de Baca,T., Salmon, C., ... & Sevillano, V. (2022). The Adapa Tablets and the Tuxtla Glyphs: Coevolution Between Human and Nonhuman Animals. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 8, 316-332.

Salmon, C. A., & Hehman, J. A. (2022). Perceptions of Sexual Images: Factors Influencing Responses to the Ubiquitous External Ejaculation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 51(2), 1271-1280.

Hehman, J. A., Salmon, C. A., Pulford, A., Ramirez, E., & Jonason, P. K. (2022). Who perceives sexual harassment? Sex differences and the impact of mate value, sex of perpetrator, and sex of target. Personality and Individual Differences,185, 111288.

Salmon, C. & Hehman, J.A. (2021). Good Friends, Better Enemies? The Effects of Sibling Sex, Co-Residence, and Relatedness on Sibling Conflict and Cooperation. Evolutionary Psychological Science 10.1007/s40806-021-00292-y

Hehman, J.A. & Salmon, C. (2021). Differences between Behavior and Maturation: Developmental Effects of Father Absence. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 7, 166-182. 10.1007/s40750-021-00166-4

Wade, T.J., Fisher, M. & Salmon, C. (2021). Want to Hookup? Sex Differences in Short-term Mate Attraction Tactics. Evolutionary Psychological Science 10.1007/s40806-021-00282-0

Salmon, C.A., & Hehman, J.A. (2021). Evolutionary perspectives on maternal parenting. In V. Weekes-Shackelford & T.K. Shackelford (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook on Evolutionary Psychology and Parenting (pp. 173-188). New York: Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C., & Burch, R.L. (2020). I’m with You Till the End of the Line: The Romanticization of Male Bonds. In J. Carroll, M. Clasen, & E. Jonsson (Eds.). Evolutionary perspectives on Imaginative Culture (pp. 291-305). New York: Springer. 

Salmon, C., Fisher, M.L., & Burch, R. (2020). The Internet is For Porn: Evolutionary Perspectives on Online Pornography. In L. Workman, W. Reader, & J.H. Barkow (Eds). The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Behavior (pp. 548-557). New York: Cambridge University Press. 

Salmon, C. (2020). Multiple methodologies: Addressing ecological validity and conceptual replication. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 14, 373-378.10.1037/ebs0000213

Hehman, J.A. & Salmon, C. (2019) Beyond Sex Differences: Predictors of Negative Emotions Following Casual Sex. Evolutionary Psychological Sciences, 6, 97-108. 10.1007/s40806-019-00217-w

Salmon, C., Fisher, M., & Burch, R. (2019). Evolutionary Approaches: Integrating Pornography Preferences, Short-Term Mating, and Infidelity. Personality and Individual Differences, 148, 45-49. 10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.030

Burch, R.L. & Salmon, C. (2019). The rough stuff: Understanding aggressive consensual sex. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 5, 383-393.

Hehman, J.A. & Salmon, C. A. (2019). Sex specific developmental effects of father absence on casual sexual behavior and life history strategy. Evolutionary Psychological Science5, 121-130.

Salmon, C. (2018). State of the Art: Evolutionary Perspectives and Popular Culture. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, 1(4), 47-66.

Salmon, C. (2018). Emotions are running high: psychological approaches to the study of professional wrestling. The Popular Culture Studies Journal, 6, 121-137. 

Salmon, C. & Fisher, M. (2018). Putting the “Sex” into “Sexuality”: Understanding Online Pornography using an Evolutionary Framework. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 9, Sp. Iss (2), 1-15. 

Salmon, C. & Hehman, J. (2018). Second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D), tomboyism, and Temperament. Personality and Individual Differences, 123, 131-134.

Salmon, C. (2018). Why in utero and post-natal birth order effects may have different patterns. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47, 37-38. DOI: 10.1007/s10508-017-1069-3.

Salmon, C. (2017). Long-term romantic relationships: Adaptationist approaches. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 11, 121-130. 
Carroll, J., Johnson, J., Salmon, C., Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, J., Clasen, M., & Jonsson. E. (2017). A Cross-disciplinary survey of beliefs about human nature and culture.  Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, 1, 1-32. 
Salmon, C., Townsend, J. M., & Hehman, J. (2016). Casual sex and college students: Sex differences and the impact of father absence. Evolutionary Psychological Science2(4), 254-261.

Salmon, C., Cuthbertson, A. M., & Figueredo, A. J. (2016). The relationship between birth order and prosociality: An evolutionary perspective. Personality and Individual Differences96, 18-22.

Salmon, C.A. (2016) What do romance novels, pro-wrestling, and Mack Bolan have in common? Consilience and the   pop culture of storytelling. In J.C. Carroll, E.O. Wilson, & D. McAdams (Eds.). Darwin’s Bridge: Uniting the Humanities and Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C.A. (2016). Parental Investment and Parent-offspring Conflict. In D. Buss (ed.). The Evolutionary Psychology Handbook 2nd edition (pp. 542-560). New York: Wiley

Salmon, C. (2015). The impact of prenatal testosterone on female interest in slash fiction. Evolutionary Behavioral  Sciences, 9, 161-169.

Salmon, C.A. & Hehman, J. (2015) Sibling Conflict: The role of relatedness, sex, and sources of conflict. Evolutionary Psychological Sciences, 1, 123-129.

Salmon, C.A. (2015). Familial Relationships. In V. Zeigler-Hill, L.M. Welling, & T.K. Shackelford (Eds.). Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology. New York: Springer.

Salmon, C. A. (2017). Is female competition at the heart of reproductive suppression and eating disorders? In M. Fisher (Ed.), Oxford Handbook on Women and Competition. New York: Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C. A., and Hehman, J. A. (2014). The evolutionary psychology of sibling conflict and siblicide. In T. K. Shackelford and R. D. Hansen (Eds.), The Evolution of Violence (pp. 137-157). New York: Springer.

Fisher, M., and Salmon, C. (2013). Mom, Dad, meet my mate: An evolutionary perspective on the introduction of parents and mates. Journal of Family Studies, 19, 99-107.

Salmon, C. & Diamond, A. (2012). Evolutionary perspectives on the content analysis of heterosexual and homosexual pornography. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 6(2), 193-202.

Salmon, C. A. (2012). The pop culture of sex: An evolutionary window on the worlds of pornography and romance. Review of General Psychology, 16, 152-160.

Fisher, M., and Salmon, C. A. (2012). Human nature and pop culture. Review of General Psychology, 16, 104-108.

Salmon, C. A. (2012). The world of sports entertainment: Evolutionary drama in the squared circle. The Evolutionary Review, 3(1), 108-115.

Salmon, C. A., Shackelford, T. K., and Michalski, R. (2012). Birth order, sex of child, and perceptions of parental favoritism. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 357-362.

Salmon, C.A., and Schumann, K. (2011). The Secret Power of Middle Children. Hudson St. Press.

Salmon, C. A. and Malcolm, J. (2011). Parent-offspring conflict. In C. A. Salmon and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Tyhe Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C. A. and Shackelford, T. K. (2011). Towards an evolutionary psychology of the family. In C. A. Salmon and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Gorelik, G., Shackelford, T.K., and Salmon, C.A. (2010). New horizons in the evolutionary science of the human family. Review of General Psychology, 14, 330-339.

Salmon, C. A., Figueredo, A. J., and Woodburn, L. (2009). Life history strategy and disordered eating behavior. Evolutionary Psychology, 7, 585-600.

Salmon, C. A., Crawford, C. B., Dane, L., and Zuberbier, O. (2008). Ancestral mechanisms in modern environments: Impact of competition and stress on body image and dieting behavior. Human Nature, 19, 103-117.

Salmon, C. A., Crawford, C. B., and Walters, S. (2008). Anorexic behavior, female competition, and stress: Developing the Female Competition Stress Test." Evolutionary Psychology, 6, 96-112.

Salmon, C. A. (2008). The world's oldest profession: Evolutionary insights into prostitution. In J. Duntley and T. K. Shackelford (Eds.), Evolutionary forensic psychology (pp. 121-135). Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C. A. and Crawford, C. B. (2008). Evolutionary psychology: The historical context. In C. Crawford and D. Krebs (Eds.), Foundations of evolutionary psychology: Ideas, issues, applications, and findings (pp. 1-21). Erlbaum.

Salmon, C. A. (2008). Heroes and hos' reflections of male and female sexual natures. In C. Crawford and D. Krebs (Eds.), Foundations of evolutionary psychology: Ideas, issues, applications, and findings (pp. 281-290). Erlbaum.

Salmon, C. A. (2007). Big brothers and little sisters? Sex selection and birth order. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 15 (supplement 1), 12-17.

Salmon, C. A. and Shackelford, T. K. (2007). Family relationships: An evolutionary perspective. Oxford University Press.

Salmon, C. A. (2005). Parental investment and parent-offspring conflict. In D. Buss (Ed.), The evolutionary psychology handbook (pp. 506-527). New York: Wiley.

Salmon, C. A. and Clerc, S. (2005). Ladies Love Wrestling, Too': Female Wrestling Fans Online. In Steel Chair to the Head: The Pleasure and Pain of Professional Wrestling (N. Sammond ed). Duke University Press. Pp. 167-191.

Salmon, C. A. and Symons, D. (2004). Slash fiction and human mating psychology. Journal of Sex Research, 41(1), 94-100.

Salmon, C.A. (2003). Birth order and relationships: Family, friends and sexual partners. Human Nature, 14(1), 73-88.

Awards, Honors, Grants

University of Redlands Faculty Grant: 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2014-2015, 2015-2016

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship: 2001-2003

Social Science and Humanities Research Council (Canada) Post-Doctoral Fellowship: 1999-2001