"They steal our women" : Outgroup members as romantic rivals
09 / 2006 - 07 / 2012
Website Kurt Lewin Instituut
Throughout history groups have been competing over territories and resources, but also over gaining and defending of mates. Thus, being aware of out-group members as potential mating threat must have been functional in intergroup contexts. The focus of this thesis is on the reactions towards out-group members as romantic rivals. Gender is important in this exploration. As men need to provide less minimal investment (sperm and a bit of time) than women (pregnancy and delivery) to have an offspring, having more mates can increase the reproductive success especially for men. Additionally, the status benefits coming with successful intergroup competition make men more desirable as mates in preindustrial societies, and also to some extent in modern societies. Thus, for males the benefits (directly, as acquiring and defending mates and, indirectly, as increase of status) often outweigh the potential risks of intergroup conflict. The current investigation shows that out-group members seen as interested in short-term romance are especially likely to evoke jealousy. Additionally, when out-group is seen as a threat to mating opportunities, among men it leads to increased negativity towards out-group men, in the instance disease threat is also a concern.