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date: 18 August 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Female competition for male attention is multifaceted. Typically psychological and relational in nature, this competition may be no less damaging than physical violence more commonly used between males. Research on female–female mate competition has examined short-term effects, yet how women cope with long-term effects of romantic relationship dissolution has been little explored. If negative emotions exist because they provide an evolutionary advantage (attuning physiological processes, thoughts, and behaviors to deal with situations that have frequently incurred high fitness costs), then emotions arising from the loss of a mate to a sexual rival may potentially motivate actions that could make one avoid this scenario in the future. This essay argues that there are consequences of female intrasexual mate competition that may be both evolutionarily adaptive and also beneficial in terms of personal growth and that may expand beyond mating and into other realms of personal development.

Keywords: female competition, mate competition, intrasexual competition, romantic relationships, relationship dissolution

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