Evolutionary psychology: the Mail's second favourite pseudo-science after homeopathy. (Narrowly ahead of eugenics — though there are similarities.)
The objective of this study seems to be related to this (the final paragraph of the story):
This follow-up study has found that the more promiscuous men who happened also to have deficiencies in personal empathy and warmth were the ones most attuned to female 'exploitability' cues
which could be useful in creating psychological profiles of sex offenders, for instance. (And it's not evolutionary, but 'conventional' psychology.)
Unfortunately, the Mail's hack decides to add her own interpretation:
which seems to indicate that not all men are sleazy when it comes to pursuing sex.
This is a fail on many levels. One, does anybody think the opposite? Two, 'sleazy' is an awful choice of word here, it doesn't describe the traits of promiscuity, opportunism and lack of personal empathy that the research has identified. Three, it makes the normative assumption that all men 'pursue' sex with women, sleazily or no — a regular shortcoming of evolutionary psychology. And perhaps above all it seems to go against the focus of the research, which is concerned with men who do
fit the profile rather than those who don't. This feels like a sop to readers, who can sleep easily tonight in the knowledge that rapey blokes are fundamentally weird (science says so!) and therefore the exploitation of vulnerable women is both 'hard-wired' or 'in the genes' or [insert your preferred ev-psych cliché here] and
nothing the rest of us can do anything about.