Authors:Maryanne Fisher, Anthony Cox and Fiona Gordon
In a series of two studies, we explored people's selection of self-promotion or competitor derogation when intrasexually competing for mates, as influenced by sex and romantic relationship involvement. In Study 1, student participants completed a forced-choice survey outlining six hypothetical competitive tactics. The findings indicated that self-promotion was chosen more often than competitor derogation, regardless of sex and current relationship involvement. In Study 2, we relied upon a community sample that completed a continuous measure that expanded upon the survey of Study 1. We found that women reported significantly more self-promotion than men, and men reported significantly more competitor derogation. Individuals who were romantically uninvolved and those who were dating reported higher levels of self-promotion and competitor derogation than those who were married or in a common-law relationship. Social desirability impacted on competitor derogation but not self-promotion. In contrast, self-ratings of physical attractiveness significantly positively correlated with both strategies. We discuss these findings using the conceptual framework of indirect aggression and intrasexual competition.