Navigation Links
U of Minnesota researcher finds link between aggression, status and sex
Date:12/8/2008

Have you ever wondered why it seems like the littlest things make people angry? Why a glance at the wrong person or a spilled glass of water can lead to a fist fight or worse? University of Minnesota researcher Vladas Griskevicius has three words to explain why people may be evolutionarily inclined to make a mountain out of molehill: aggression, status and sex.

Although hostility or belligerent acts might not immediately appear to be linked to reproduction, new research forthcoming in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that mating goals may underlie behaviors such as aggression. Griskevicius, a marketing professor at the U of M's Carlson School of Management, and his co-authors, have found conclusive evidence that merely activating a desire for status can trigger aggression. Aggressive displays, which may result in enhanced status, indirectly boost an individual's ability to attract a mate and, thereby, reproduce.

"It all boils down to the fact that status for men typically equals sex. Across different cultures and time, the higher status men have, the more sex or better-quality partners they may have," said Griskevicius. "At the gene-level, nobody wants to go down in an evolutionary blaze of glory--no one wants their genes to become extinct. Additionally, unlike low-status women, low-status men are in serious danger of not reproducing, since they make especially undesirable mates."

To listen to Griskevicius describe his research, go to http://mediamill.cla.umn.edu/mediamill/embed/22978

"Think of it this way," said Griskevicius, "For men, fighting for status is akin to fighting for the survival of their genes. Not caring about status, which can be implied by backing away from a fight, can be evolutionary suicide. Aggression can lead to status. A higher status leads to sex, and that leads to more or higher-quality offspring."

The evolved pull of aggression was shown in a series of three studies. Results showed that if men have status or sex on their minds (e.g., they are thinking about a promotion at work or an attractive opposite-sex individual), they will more quickly respond aggressively to a trivial insult. The slight seems much more substantial when a man has sex or status on his mind. Men are especially likely to respond aggressively when there are other men around to watch the situation, suggesting that much of aggression is about display, rather than self-defense.

Statistics reinforce this idea; police reports show that "trivial altercations" is the leading reason for homicide. But Griskevicius warns that his work should not suggest that people are attracted to aggression. Rather, "it is all about status--the one who wins the game--he's the one that gets the girl. And at the end of the day, if those genes are passed on, the aggressor is the ultimate winner."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ryan Mathre
mathre@umn.edu
612-625-0552
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
2. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
3. University of Minnesota releases first ever comprehensive report of the health of college students
4. U of Minnesota researchers discover key for converting waste to electricity
5. University of Minnesota to host worlds largest conference on evolution
6. New family of gecko discovered by researchers from the U of Minnesota and Villanova University
7. Action needed now for Minnesota to reach goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2015
8. Minnesota ecology professor wins international award for biodiversity and biofuels research
9. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
10. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
11. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 ... ... have just published their findings on what they believe could be a new ... summary of the new research. Click here to read it now. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mission to bring innovative medical technologies, services and solutions to the healthcare market. ... and implementation of various distribution, manufacturing, sales and marketing strategies that are necessary ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Liquid Biotech USA , Inc. ... Research Agreement with The University of Pennsylvania ("PENN") ... patients.  The funding will be used to assess ... outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a variety of ... to support the design of a therapeutic, decision-making ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects including ... two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a lecture ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which is ... "In certain areas there ... common economic goals, why not sit down and address strategy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: