A key motivation for men who join gangs is the prospect of increased mating opportunities; men who are members of gangs experience greater mating success, particularly gang leaders.
As the lower-investing sex, men are capable of having many more offspring over the course of their lifetime than are women. Indeed, access to mating opportunities is a key limiting factor in men’s reproductive fitness. As a result, men are willing to engage in intrasexual competition, sometimes extremely risky and violet competition, in order to increase their mating prospects. One such means of fostering access to women is joining a gang. Qualitative data suggests that this is a key motivation for men who join gangs (Wong 1982), and survey data shows that gang members, especially their leaders, do indeed experience greater mating success than non-gang members (Palmer and Tilley 1995). A more detailed...
KeywordsParental Investment Gang Member Mating Opportunity Gang Membership Sexual Access
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