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Aggr. Behav.

preference for revealing clothing near ovulation. These authors suggested that this shift in clothing preference may reflect an increase in ‘‘female–female competition near ovulation’’ (p. 1451). Replicating the findings of this study taking into account a woman’s menstrual cycle seems warranted. Third, future studies ought to consider the role

dating status has on intrasexual competition. Intrasexual competition is highest when people are not in a committed relationship [e.g., Daly and Wilson, 1988]. However, as Benenson [2009] argues, for females, this competition extends beyond the courtship because females need to maintain their partner’s ‘‘loyalty’’ which discourages the diversion of resources to other females.

CONCLUSION

Most studies on intrasexual competition across species have focused on males, and most studies on humans have not taken an experimental approach in which participants are randomized to different conditions. To our knowledge, Study 1 is the first experimental study to assess female intrasexual competition through the use of indirect aggression. We found strong empirical support (effect size; Cohen’s d5 1.74) for the hypothesis that women would be particularly intolerant of a sexy peer and that this intolerance would take the form of indirect aggression. With few exceptions, the women in the sexy condition behaved badly, aggressing against a woman whose only indiscretion was to be dressed in a sexually evocative manner. They also behaved more poorly with a friend than with a stranger. In Study 2, we attempted to verify whether the

sexy confederate was perceived as a sexual rival. Consistent with this idea, we hypothesized that women would not want to introduce her to their boyfriend or allow him to spend time with her. We also hypothesized that they would not let their partner spend time with the sexy-fat confederate because her sexy clothing would likely be perceived as a sign of sexual availability. Manipulating the appearance of the sexy confederate to by making her appear overweight but still sexually provocative, we found strong support for this sexual rival hypothesis (effect size; partial Z2 5 .44). We also asked parti- cipants how likely they would be friends with her, hypothesizing that they would be less inclined if she was dressed provocatively. Results strongly sup- ported this hypothesis (effect size; partial Z2 5 .43).

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