Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Marital Status

  • Lucas Odom
  • Melissa McDonald
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_863-1

Synonyms

Definition

Males compete for access to female parental investment. Males in long-term relationships have less to gain from that competition, whereas males without ready mating access have much to gain and little to lose. This provides an explanation for why young, unmarried men are the primary perpetrators of violent and deadly aggression.

Introduction

Reproductive fitness is the primary unit of success in the evolutionary game of life. Limited resources and mating opportunities lead to intense competition where the winners successfully pass on their genes to the next generation and the losers face reproductive oblivion. Given the high stakes, it should not be surprising that competition over members of the opposite sex has resulted in violent and deadly encounters. The main participants in these acts of violence tend to be young unmarried men looking to gain respect and resources to improve their reproductive...

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

References

  1. Betzig, L. L. (1982). Despotism and differential reproduction: A cross-cultural correlation of conflict asymmetry, hierarchy, and degree of polygamy. Ethology and Sociobiology, 3, 209–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (1988). Homicide. New Brunswick: Transaction, Print.Google Scholar
  3. Murdock, G. P. (1967). Ethnographic atlas. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  4. Salzano, F. M., Neel, J. V., & Marbury-Lewis, D. (1967). Further studies on the Xevante Indians. I. Demographic data on two additional villages: Genetic structure of the tribe. American Journal of Human Genetics, 19, 463–489.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Trivers, R. L. (1972). Parental investment and sexual selection. In B. Campbell (Ed.), Sexual selection and the decent of man (pp. 1871–1971). Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
  6. Weinberg, S., & Ragan, J. (1980). Effects of competition, success-failure and sex or intrinsic motivation. In P. Klavora & K. A. W. Wipper (Eds.), Psychological and sociological factors in jsport. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  7. Wilson, M., & Daly, M. (1985). Competitiveness, risk taking and violence: The young male syndrome. Ethology and Sociobiology, 6, 59–73.Google Scholar
  8. Wilt, G. M. (1974). Toward an understanding of the social realities of participating in homicides. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Wayne State University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melissa McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA