Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Status and Reproductive Success

  • James G. ZerbeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2571-1



The common statistical association between accessing greater positions of relative social rank within a group and measures of evolutionary fitness.


Social status seems to be a key component of social organization among small-scale human societies. Status is often defined as relative access to contested resources within a social group (Henrich and Gil-White 2001). More broadly, it can be conceptualized as access to social power and influence or the ability to advance one’s aims and interests when they conflict with the goals or motives of others. The purpose of this entry is to provide a general introduction to the concept of social status and detailed results from research studies among two small-scale societies on the link between status and reproductive success, as well as citing summarizing research which provides context on the prevalence of finding this...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Institute of Human OriginsArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jessica Hehman
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of RedlandsRedlandsUSA