Surgery, slander, and sexual spontaneity: exploring female intrasexual competition and risk taking

Hildebrand, Emma (2012). Surgery, slander, and sexual spontaneity: exploring female intrasexual competition and risk taking Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hildebrand, Emma
Thesis Title Surgery, slander, and sexual spontaneity: exploring female intrasexual competition and risk taking
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-10-10
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Shelli Dubbs
Total pages 92
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary It is widely assumed that men engage in intense competition with one another and take risks in order to gain access to women, whereas women remain relatively passive and are risk aversive even when attempting to attract men. Indeed, literature on competition and risk taking in humans indicates that men often engage in behaviours that risk their health and physical safety in order to attract women and outcompete same-sex rivals. Women on the other hand appear to show little, if any, proclivity towards such behaviours. This paper argues that women may in fact stand to benefit from engaging in intrasexual competition and certain risk taking behaviours, as they can greatly aid the acquisition of a desirable mate. To this end, it is hypothesized that when women are attempting to outcompete same-sex rivals and secure a mate, they will demonstrate an increased likelihood of engaging in a range of potentially risky behaviours associated with three key domains – appearance, sexual, and social. Contrary to predictions, operational sex ratio (i.e., the intensity of intrasexual competition) did not influence women’s likelihood of engaging in risks associated with these three proposed domains. Interestingly, however, women who were inherently more intrasexually competitive demonstrated an increased likelihood of engaging in risk taking associated with appearance, sexual, and social risk taking domains, however were no more likely to engage in risk taking that compromised their physical safety and general health (that is, risks taking that does not directly aid women’s acquisition of a male partner). This research has the potential to contribute to existing literature concerning human mate choice, the impact of operational sex ratio on behaviour, and, perhaps most importantly, draw attention to the role that female intrasexual competition has on risk taking behaviours.
Keyword Female intrasexual competition
Risk taking

 
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Created: Fri, 01 Mar 2013, 14:04:01 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology