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date: 18 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

According to many communication scholars, aggression is a consequence of sociocultural experiences and less often considered an evolved response to environmental triggers. While there are many factors of aggression, an evolutionary rationale helps to isolate which of these factors are more crucial in explaining aggression among women, one of which is physical attractiveness. Far from superficial, attractive women enjoy better bargaining positions during intrasexual competition than those less attractive, and aggress to negotiate better treatment from rivals. However, evidence of this is mixed because women exaggerate their physical attractiveness during times of heightened ovulatory fertility. Consequently, women’s competitive bargaining positions are based on the interplay between everyday attractiveness and their exaggerations of physical attractiveness. In comparison to traditional social psychology and communication models of aggression, human evolution more parsimoniously explains the ways women functionally match their communication of aggression to many environmental triggers and individual differences between competitors.

Keywords: aggression, communication, human evolution, intrasexual competition, ovulatory fertility, physical attractiveness

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