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J Sex Res. 2004 Feb;41(1):16-26.

Female competition: causes, constraints, content, and contexts.

Author information

1
Psychology Department, Durham University, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, England. a.c.campbell@durham.ac.uk

Abstract

Monogamy tends to equalise mate competition between the sexes. However, women show greater restraint in their use of direct intrasexual aggression, which, I argue, is a result of their higher parental investment and the consequently greater reproductive cost of injury or death. Women usually compete for mates by advertising qualities valued by men (beauty and sexual exclusiveness) and by using indirect means of denigrating rivals (through gossip and stigmatisation). However, where well-resourced men are in short supply, women must find alternative sources of support or escalate their competition for male partners to physical levels. Data from criminology, psychology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology are used to support these proposals.

PMID:
15216421
DOI:
10.1080/00224490409552210
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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