David M Buss et al.; 2000
This research tested the evolutionary psychological hypothesis that men and women would be most distressed about threats from rivals who surpass them on sex-linked components of mate value. Six predictions were tested in samples from three cultures, the United States (N = 208), the Netherlands (N = 349), and Korea (N= 174). Five predictions were supported in all three cultures. Korean, Dutch, and American men, more than corresponding women, report greater distress when a rival surpasses them on financial prospects, job prospects, and physical strength. Korean, Dutch, and American women, in contrast, report greater distress when a rival surpasses them on facial and bodily attractiveness. The cultures differed on some variables. Korean women and men, for example, differed from Americans and Dutch in reporting more distress over rivals who had better financial prospects, better job prospects, and higher status and prestige. Americans exceeded Koreans in reporting distress when rivals had more attractive faces and bodies, whereas Dutch exceeded the other cultures in reporting more distress when rivals had a better sense of humor. Discussion focuses on possible proximate psychological mechanisms underlying distress over rivals and the theoretical importance of intrasexual competition.