Distinct life history patterns have been observed and characterized in humans and appear to have a heritable component. The specific genetic variation responsible for the heritability is unknown. This study tested two plausible candidate genes for association with human life history characteristics using a sample of Caucasian men and women taken from a large Australian community survey. Associations were found between two polymorphisms within the AVPR1A gene and age of first sexual intercourse in men and women. An association was also found between a polymorphism in the OXTR gene with the tendency to parent children at an earlier age in females. This study is the first to report associations between AVPR1A and OXTR genetic variation with life history traits in humans. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.