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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Many researchers have studied how social competition and aggression affect health and well-being. However, few have made significant theoretical contributions to the understanding of how competition and aggression specific to women’s same-sex social networks may alter their health and well-being. Indeed, several lines of research indicate that positive interpersonal relationships between women are correlated to improved health, and, as a corollary, stressful and competitive interpersonal relationships result in significant health costs. Using evolutionary ecological theory and supporting data from Sidama pastoralist women in rural southwestern Ethiopia, this essay proposes that sleep quality and trade-offs between time spent sleeping for more waking time may be one of the pathways through which women’s health is affected by competition and aggression with other women. Sleep is gained or lost due to ruminations and investments over immediate social situations with other women, and this in turn can affect women’s health and well-being.

Keywords: aggression, Sidama, Ethiopia, competition, women’s health, sleep, evolutional ecological theory, pastoralist

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