A1 Journal article (refereed)
Effects of gender inequality and wealth inequality on within-sex mating competition under hypergyny (2022)

Brooks, R. C., Blake, K. R., & Fromhage, L. (2022). Effects of gender inequality and wealth inequality on within-sex mating competition under hypergyny. Evolution and Human Behavior, 43(6), 501-509. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2022.08.006

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Brooks, Robert C.; Blake, Khandis R.; Fromhage, Lutz

Journal or series: Evolution and Human Behavior

ISSN: 1090-5138

eISSN: 1879-0607

Publication year: 2022

Volume: 43

Issue number: 6

Pages range: 501-509

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United States

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2022.08.006

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access: Channel is not openly available

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83806


Resources are often central to the formation and persistence of human consortships, and to the evolutionary fitness consequences of those consortships. As a result, the distribution of resources within a society should influence the number and quality of mating opportunities an individual of given status/wealth experiences. In particular, in a wide variety of societies, both contemporary and historic, women have been shown to prefer mates of higher rather than lower status and wealth, a pattern known as ‘hypergyny’. Such status-dependent within-sex competition is influenced not only by the preferences individuals express but also by the distribution of resources within and between sexes. Empirical studies show that economic inequality within a sex can amplify mating competition, and that inequalities between women and men also influence behaviours related to mating competition, but the links between resource distribution and mating competition have attracted limited systematic attention. We present simulation models of hypergynous preferences and the effects on mating competition among men and among women within a heterosexual mating market. Our modelling shows that the lower mating success of poorer men and richer women (when compared with richer men and poorer women) is worsened when resource gender gaps are relatively small or when women out-earn men on average. Likewise, high economic inequality, especially among men, amplifies the competition experienced by these groups. We consider the political implications in terms of sex- and status-dependent attitudes to gender equity, wealth inequality, and hypergynous mating norms.

Keywords: evolution; mating; selecting a couple

Free keywords: mating market; evolution; mate choice; status; within-sex competition

Contributing organizations

Related research datasets

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 13:08