Nov 19, 2013


Interesting article for anyone with a daughter. The main points:

  • Intrasexual competition is the most important factor that explains pressures on young women regarding sexual conduct and physical appearance. In other words women, not men, create the pressure for women to look good and adjust their sexual behaviors.
  • An experiment with an attractive woman dressed provocatively and dressed reservedly, generated profound differences in reactions from other women who were around her.
    • When provocatively dressed - attracted attention from almost every test subject and that attention was always hostile (rolled eyes, showed outright anger, "what the [bleep] is that?"), most aggression happened after she left the room, suggestions she wanted to sleep with the professor, etc.
    • When reservedly dress - attracted little attention and no negative comments
  • Most of the aggression was indirect which probably makes it harder to defend against versus male aggressiveness which is more direct.
  • Suppression of female sexuality and 'slut shaming' is done by women rather than men. This is not news to anyone with a modicum of evolutionary study.
  • And most interestingly pressure to conform to modern beauty standards (aka thin) is the result of female competition amongst peers and not modern media which merely reflects the trends created from this competition.  Women's dissatisfaction with their bodies did not correlate with what they saw on TV or in magazines but rather comparisons to peers in their own social circles. In other words when women have real competition for mates they feel they need to step up their game.

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