Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Female-Female Competition

  • Maryanne L. FisherEmail author
  • Rebecca L. Burch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1408-1

Synonyms

Definition

Competition that females of a given species engage in against each other in order to access limited resources, including mates, that impact on their survival and reproductive success.

Introduction

Females of many species compete with each other to gain access to limited resources that directly impinge upon their survival and reproductive success. Competition is usually highest among members of the same sex, given they most often compete for the same resources, including mates (see Stockley and Campbell 2013, for a review). Within-sex (i.e., intrasexual competition) is therefore a significant evolutionary pressure. During the last decade or so, there has been noteworthy research that indicates females can be as aggressive, or even more so, in competitive interactions than males (see Stockley and Campbell 2013, for a review).

Originally, much of the literature pertained to male intrasexual competition, but the focus has turned...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Apicella, C. L., & Dreber, A. (2015). Sex differences in competitiveness: Hunter-gatherer women and girls compete less in gender-neutral and male-centric tasks. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 1(3), 247–269.Google Scholar
  2. Björkqvist, K. (1994). Sex differences in physical, verbal, and indirect aggression: A review of recent research. Sex Roles, 30, 177–188.Google Scholar
  3. Björkqvist, K., Lagerspetz, M., & Kaukiainen, A. (1992). Do girls manipulate and boys fight? Developmental trends in regard to direct and indirect aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 1(8), 117–127.Google Scholar
  4. Black, R. E., Cousens, S., Johnson, H. L., Lawn, J. E., Rudan, I., et al. (2010). Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: A systematic analysis. Lancet, 375, 1969–1987.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, A. (1999). Staying alive: Evolution, culture, and women’s intrasexual aggression. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 203–252.Google Scholar
  6. Cashdan, E. (1999). How women compete. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 221.Google Scholar
  7. Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1991). The evolution of parental care. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Clutton-Brock, T. (2009). Sexual selection in females. Animal Behaviour, 77(1), 3–11.Google Scholar
  9. Clutton-Brock, T., & Huchard, E. (2013). Social competition and its consequences in female mammals. Journal of Zoology, 289(3), 151–171.Google Scholar
  10. Dillon, H., Adair, L., & Brase, G. (2017). Operational sex ratio and female competition: Scarcity breeds intensity. In M. Fisher (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of women and competition (pp. 265–280). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dominguez, S., & Watkins, C. (2003). Creating networks for survival and mobility: Social capital among African-American and Latin-American low-income mothers. Social Problems, 50(1), 111–135.Google Scholar
  12. Fisher, M. (2013). Women’s intrasexual competition for mates. In M. Fisher, J. Garcia, & R. Sokol-Chang (Eds.), Evolution’s empress: Darwinian perspectives on the nature of women (pp. 19–42). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Fisher, M. (2017). Introduction. In M. Fisher (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of women and competition (pp. 3–12). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Fisher, M. L., & Fernández, A. M. (2017). The influence of women’s mate value on intrasexual competition. In M. Fisher (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of women and competition (pp. 281–299). NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fisher, M., & Moule, K. (2013). A new direction for intrasexual competition research: Cooperative versus competitive motherhood. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(4), 318–325.Google Scholar
  16. Fisher, M., Cox, A., & Gordon, F. (2009). Deciding between competition derogation and self promotion. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 7, 287–308.Google Scholar
  17. Fisher, M., Burch, R., & Sokol-Chang, R. (2017). A theoretical proposal for examining the integration of cooperative and competitive mothering behavior. Human Ethology Bulletin, 32, 6–16.Google Scholar
  18. Gray, P. B., & Anderson, K. G. (2015). The impact of fathers on children. In Encyclopedia of early childhood development. Retrieved from http://www.child-encyclopedia.com/sites/default/files/textes-experts/en/4513/the-impact-of-fathers-on-children.pdf
  19. Högnas, R. (2010). A mechanism describing how low-income women exchange support in their personal networks. Sociological Focus, 43(4), 330–348.Google Scholar
  20. Hrdy, S. B. (1999). Mother nature: A history of mothers, infants and natural selection. New York: The Ballantine Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  21. Liesen, L. (2013). The tangled web she weaves. In M. Fisher, J. Garcia, & R. Sokol-Chang (Eds.), Evolution’s empress: Darwinian perspectives on the nature of women (pp. 43–62). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Owens, L., Shute, R., & Slee, P. (2000). “Guess what I just heard!”: Indirect aggression among teenage girls in Australia. Aggressive Behaviour, 26, 67–83.Google Scholar
  23. Schuster, I. M. (1983). Women’s aggression: An African case study. Aggressive Behavior, 9, 319–331.Google Scholar
  24. Stockley, P., & Bro-Jørgensen, J. (2011). Female competition and its evolutionary consequences in mammals. Biological Reviews, 86, 341–366.Google Scholar
  25. Stockley, P., & Campbell, A. (2013). Female competition and aggression: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 368(1631), 1–11.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.State University of New York at OswegoOswegoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Douglas Sellers
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn State Worthington ScrantonScrantonUSA