An Empirical Test of the Bodyguard Hypothesis

  • Margo Wilson
  • Sarah L. Mesnick


In a comparative review of mateship alliances, Mesnick (this volume) argues that one benefit to females of forming a heterosexual pair-bond is reduction in risk of sexual aggression from other males. Several subsidiary hypotheses follow from this “bodyguard hypothesis,” including (1) that females may be especially attracted to large and/or dominant males where high risk of sexual aggression prevails, and (2) that the cross-species distribution of pair-bonding by females may be accounted for, in part, by variable risks of sexual aggression. Mesnick’s review of field studies of a diverse array of species lends much support to these and related hypotheses.


Sexual Assault Sexual Harassment Married Woman Sexual Victimization Unmarried Woman 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margo Wilson
  • Sarah L. Mesnick

There are no affiliations available

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