The formation of status hierarchies in leaderless groups

Human Nature 13 (3):345-362 (2002)
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Two studies examined the link between social dominance and male waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Groups of four men interacted in a leaderless group discussion. In both studies, men with higher WHRs (associated with current and long-term health status) were rated by other group members as behaving more leader-like when an observer was present, and rated themselves as being more assertive. In Study 2, men with higher WHRs were rated by independent observers as behaving more dominantly, but only when the evaluator was present. These results are discussed in terms of evolutionary models of health, attraction, and intrasexual competition



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