The Effect of Intrasexual Competition and Hormonal Birth Control on Perceptions of an Attractive Woman and Helping Behaviour

Bain, Meegan L. (2013). The Effect of Intrasexual Competition and Hormonal Birth Control on Perceptions of an Attractive Woman and Helping Behaviour Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Bain, Meegan L.
Thesis Title The Effect of Intrasexual Competition and Hormonal Birth Control on Perceptions of an Attractive Woman and Helping Behaviour
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Shelli Dubbs
Total pages 83
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Research has demonstrated that women compete intrasexually for males through gossip and derogation. It is suggested that women engage in these behaviours due to an evolutionary drive to eliminate any female competition for access to high quality male partners. The following thesis proposes that intrasexual competition and hormonal birth control will negatively effect perceptions of an attractive female target. Furthermore, this thesis will investigate whether intrasexual competition effects women’s likeliness to help an attractive versus an unattractive female target. Study one and two both used American heterosexual females to investigate these predictions (N = 190). In study one, participants were exposed to an image of an attractive female and were asked to respond with their perceptions of the target on 31 items. Study two employed a between subjects design whereby participants responded to the likeliness they would help an attractive or unattractive target in different scenarios. It was found that women high in intrasexual competition were significantly more likely to derogate, want to hear gossip, not help and even deem it okay for an attractive target to be raped. Interestingly, women were significantly less likely to help both targets regardless of attractiveness. Contrary to hypotheses, hormonal birth control did not significantly predict derogation, gossip or force sex scores. It was found however, that women higher in intrasexual competition and on hormonal birth control were significantly more likely to deem it acceptable that the attractive target be raped. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
Keyword intrasexual
competition
hormonal birth control
Helping behaviour

 
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Created: Wed, 07 May 2014, 10:55:59 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology