Fakulteto naujienos

Groningeno universiteto (Olandija) profesoriaus Abraham P. Buunk paskaita


Individual differences in intrasexual competition: from personality and demographic context to hormones and behavior

Intrasexual competition refers to rivalry with same-sex others over the access to mates, and has been widely studied in behavioral biology, and more recently in psychology. It is becoming increasingly clear that there are considerable individual differences in the degree of intrasexual competitiveness (ISC), i.e., the tendency to view same-sex others as rivals, especially in mating contexts. ISC is measured with a cross-culturally validated 12-item scale (alpha’s > .80; Buunk & Fisher, 2009). An increasing number of studies is showing evidence for the determinants of ISC, and for the effects of ISC on behavior. For instance, ISC appears in part rooted in personality: it is positively correlated with extraversion among men and with a lack of agreeableness among women. ISC is also relatively higher among women who grew up without a father, and mediates between father absence and a variety of non-verbal seductive tactics. Among men and women ISC is positively associated with T, and mediates between T and mate retention tactics. ISC is relatively high among women of high socio-economic status, and among men of low socio-economic status. In addition to reviewing the current state of research on ISC, I present results from a new study in a representative sample of 1466 Dutch individuals, with an age range from 15 to 80, predicting that the need to compete with same-sex others is especially high among adolescents, and will decrease with age. This prediction was confirmed. In addition, somewhat unexpectedly, there was also an effect of gender, with men being higher in ISC than women. These effects were maintained when controlling for educational level.The adaptive functions of ISC are discussed in relation to life history theory and frequency dependent selection.