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



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.


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...

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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