Females' tendency to place a high value on protecting their own lives enhanced their reproductive success in the environment of evolutionary adaptation because infant survival depended more upon maternal than on paternal care and defence. The evolved mechanism by which the costs of aggression (and other forms of risk taking) are weighted more heavily for females may be a lower threshold for fear in situations which pose a direct threat of bodily injury. Females' concern with personal survival also has implications (...) for sex differences in dominance hierarchies because the risks associated with hierarchy formation in nonbonded exogamous females are not offset by increased reproductive success. Hence among females, disputes do not carry implications for status with them as they do among males, but are chiefly connected with the acquisition and defence of scarce resources. Consequently, female competition is more likely to take the form of indirect aggression or low-level direct combat than among males. Under patriarchy, men have held the power to propagate images and attributions which are favourable to the continuance of their control. Women's aggression has been viewed as a gender-incongruent aberration or dismissed as evidence of irrationality. These cultural interpretations have evolutionarily based sex differences by a process of imposition which stigmatises the expression of aggression by females and causes women to offer exculpatory (rather than justificatory) accounts of their own aggression. (shrink)
Guided by principles of life history strategy development, this study tested the hypothesis that sexual precocity and violence are influenced by sensitivities to local environmental conditions. Two models of strategy development were compared: The first is based on indirect perception of ecological cues through family disruption and the second is based on both direct and indirect perception of ecological stressors. Results showed a moderate correlation between rates of violence and sexual precocity (r = 0.59). Although a model incorporating direct and (...) indirect effects provided a better fit than one based on family mediation alone, significant improvements were made by linking some ecological factors directly to behavior independently of strategy development. The models support the contention that violence and teenage pregnancy are part of an ecologically determined pattern of strategy development and suggest that while the family unit is critical in affecting behavior, individuals’ direct experiences of the environment are also important. (shrink)
This book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on working with young people, focusing on education, health and social work, and draws on projects and perspectives from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia. The volume highlights the ethical challenges and dilemmas as these and other services are integrated and addresses how ethical practices are confronted and shared across disciplines.<BR> The first section looks at professional practice; the second foregrounds children's and young people's voices and is especially concerned with children (...) and young people as co-researchers. Subjects addressed within the text include sex education, health education, custodial care, confidentiality and gaining consent, ethical issues around ICT and researching with vulnerable populations.<BR> The book is intended for both scholars and practitioners. It places examples in clearly articulated theoretical frameworks as well as considering professional principles and practice. (shrink)
Definitional slippage threatens to equate secondary sociopathy with mere criminality and leaves the status of noncriminal sociopaths ambiguous. Primary sociopathy appears to show more environmental contingency than would be implied by a strong genetic trait approach. A reinterpretation in terms of hypermasculinity and hypofemininity is compatible with the data.
Female behavior that is driven by ambivalent attachment is far from passive or withdrawn. As dramatised in the movie such women's emotional hyper-reactivity is often expressed in violence, which is antithetical to securing investment from mates or peers. Single motherhood, rather than reflecting an avoidant strategy in which close relationships are devalued, is often the result of ecological conditions in which paternal investment is desired but unavailable.
We examined maternal competition, an unexplored form of competition between women. Given women’s high investment in offspring and mothers’ key role in shaping their reproductive, social, and cultural success as adults, we might expect to see maternal competition between women as well as mate competition. Predictions about the effect of maternal characteristics (age, relationship status, educational background, number of children, investment in the mothering role) and child variables (age, sex) were drawn from evolutionary theory and sociological research. Mothers of primary (...) school children (in two samples: N = 210 and 169) completed a series of questionnaires. A novel nine-item measure of maternal competitive behavior (MCQ) and two subscales assessing Covert (MCQ-C) and Face-to-Face (MCQ-FF) forms of competition were developed using confirmatory factor analysis. Competitiveness (MCQ score) was predicted by maternal investment, single motherhood, fewer children, and (marginally) child’s older age. The effect of single motherhood (but not other predictors) was partially mediated by greater maternal investment. In response to a scenario of their child underperforming relative to their peers, a mother’s competitive distress was a positive function of the importance she ascribed to their success and her estimation of her child’s ability. Her competitive distress was highly correlated with the distress she attributed to a female friend, hinting at bidirectional dyadic effects. Qualitative responses indicated that nonspecific bragging and boasting about academic achievements were the most common irritants. Although 40% of women were angered or annoyed by such comments, less than 5% endorsed a direct hostile response. Instead, competitive mothers were conversationally shunned and rejected as friends. We suggest that the interdependence of mothers based on reciprocal childcare has supported a culture of egalitarianism that is violated by explicit competitiveness. (shrink)
Benefits to females of short-term mating have recently been identified, and it has been suggested that women have evolved adaptations for this strategy. One piece of evidence supporting such a female adaptation would be that women find the experience of a one-night stand as affectively positive as men. Individuals (N = 1,743) who had experienced a one-night stand were asked to rate aspects of their “morning after” feelings (six positive and six negative). Women were significantly more negative and less positive (...) than men. Although women did not especially view these relationships as a prelude to long-term relationships, they felt greater regret than men about having been “used.” Extra-pair copulations were rated more negatively, but not less positively, than singles’ experiences. There was no interaction between gender and mated status on positivity or negativity. Although, in terms of subsequent affective response, women do not seem well adapted to casual sexual encounters, it may be important to distinguish impelling sexual motivation preceding intercourse from later evaluations of the event. Menstrual cycle changes may also be important in altering the strength and target of sexual motivation. (shrink)
Supporting a mediating role for fear in inhibiting female aggression, a recent study shows that aversion to impulsivity completely mediates the sex difference in direct aggression but not in angry acts where dangerous retaliation is unlikely. A more inclusive use of the term to encompass reproductive advantage would recognise females' crucial role in nurturing and protecting offspring.
When aggression is conceptualised in terms of a cost-benefit ratio, sex differences are best understood by a consideration of female costs as well as male benefits. Benefits must be extremely high to outweigh the greater costs borne by females, and circumstances where this occurs are discussed. Achievement of dominance is not such a circumstance and evidence bearing upon women's egalitarian relationships is reviewed. Attempts to explain sex differences in terms of sexual dimorphism, sex-of-target effects, social control, and socialisation are found (...) to be inadequate. The suggestion that the stigmatisation of female aggreession arises not from patriarchal imposition but from statistical rarity (resulting from evolutionary pressures) is given serious consideration. Two hypotheses (“internal read-out” versus social/epidemiological representations) are described to explain the relationship between sex differences in behaviour and corresponding lay explanations. (shrink)
A test of a biosocial model is reported in which we found no impact of circulating testosterone on either status-seeking or aggression. The fact that sex differences in competitiveness and aggression appear in childhood strongly suggests that the major impact of testosterone is organisational. Whereas dominance and resources are linked among males, female aggression may be a function of pure resource competition, with no element of status-seeking.
The strategic pluralism model depends upon pathogen prevalence and environmental hardship being independent. Evidence is presented that they are positively correlated. The rise in short-term mating strategy in the United States is better explained by changes in the operational sex ratio than by increases in pathogen prevalence. Nonetheless, in highlighting the advantages of a high-investment strategy to less attractive males, Gangestad & Simpson's model helps to clarify the dynamics of frequency-dependent selection.