Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Sexual Access Manipulations

  • Kristen SymeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_589-1



Sexual access manipulations in the context of suicide terrorism occur when terror organizations promise metaphysical sexual rewards as a deceptive form of reciprocal altruism or when the sociocultural environment triggers intrasexual competitive behaviors.


Some theorists contend that sexual access manipulations provide an evolutionary explanation for suicide terrorism (Kanazawa 2007). Though sexual access manipulations are evidenced in the rhetoric of some political organizations that recruit potential combatants for suicide terror missions (e.g., Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah), the empirical evidence that sexual access manipulations are the sole motivation to undertake these missions is specious.

Sexual Reward in the Afterlife

When evolutionary theorists discuss sexual access manipulations in relation to suicide terrorism, they are typically referencing promises of sexual rewards in the afterlife (i.e., “72 virgins”). This...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington State UniversityVancouverUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Doug P. VanderLaan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Child, Youth and Family DivisionCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada