Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Same-Sex Coalitions That Exclude Women

  • Jonah Houtz
  • Melissa McDonald
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_956-1



Males show a preference for forming and maintaining large social groups composed of same-sex peers. This tendency is argued to be a mechanism for forming coalitions to engage in intergroup warfare.


From a young age, males show a proclivity for forming large same-sex social groups. This is contrasted by the dyadic relationships generally preferred by females. One explanation for this preference among men to form large groups of same-sex peers is that it is an evolved mechanism for building and maintaining coalitions that function to protect the group from attack by outsiders and that can be used to attack outgroups. This entry will describe the evolutionary evidence for why such a mechanism should be restricted to men rather than women and review evidence from the literature providing support for the idea that these same-sex male coalitions serve the function of facilitating success...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Melissa M. McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA