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Why do some women prefer submissive men? Hierarchically disparate couples reach higher reproductive success in European urban humans.
Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2014; 35(7):594-601.NE

Abstract

OBJECTIVES

Equality between partners is considering a feature of the functional partnerships in westernized societies. However, the evolutionary consequences of how in-pair hierarchy influences reproduction are less known. Attraction of some high-ranking women towards low-ranking men represents a puzzle.

METHODS

Young urban adults (120 men, 171 women) filled out a questionnaire focused on their sexual preference for higher or lower ranking partners, their future in-pair hierarchy, and hierarchy between their parents.

RESULTS

Human pairs with a hierarchic disparity between partners conceive more offspring than pairs of equally-ranking individuals, who, in turn, conceive more offspring than pairs of two dominating partners. Importantly, the higher reproductive success of hierarchically disparate pairs holds, regardless of which sex, male or female, is the dominant one. In addition, the subjects preferring hierarchy disparity in partnerships were with greater probability sexually aroused by such disparity, suggesting that both the partnership preference and the triggers of sexual arousal may reflect a mating strategy.

CONCLUSION

These results challenge the frequently held belief in within-pair equality as a trademark of functional partnerships. It rather appears that existence of some disparity improves within-pair cohesion, facilitating both cooperation between partners and improving the pairs' ability to face societal challenges. The parallel existence of submissivity-dominance hierarchies within human sexes allows for the parallel existence of alternative reproductive strategies, and may form a background for the diversity of mating systems observed in human societies. Arousal of overemphasized dominance/submissiveness may explain sadomasochistic sex, still little understood from the evolutionary psychology point of view.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Biology, J.E. Purkyne University, Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.Department of Zoology, University of South Bohemia, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.Biology Section, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25617882

Citation

Jozifkova, Eva, et al. "Why Do some Women Prefer Submissive Men? Hierarchically Disparate Couples Reach Higher Reproductive Success in European Urban Humans." Neuro Endocrinology Letters, vol. 35, no. 7, 2014, pp. 594-601.
Jozifkova E, Konvicka M, Flegr J. Why do some women prefer submissive men? Hierarchically disparate couples reach higher reproductive success in European urban humans. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2014;35(7):594-601.
Jozifkova, E., Konvicka, M., & Flegr, J. (2014). Why do some women prefer submissive men? Hierarchically disparate couples reach higher reproductive success in European urban humans. Neuro Endocrinology Letters, 35(7), 594-601.
Jozifkova E, Konvicka M, Flegr J. Why Do some Women Prefer Submissive Men? Hierarchically Disparate Couples Reach Higher Reproductive Success in European Urban Humans. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2014;35(7):594-601. PubMed PMID: 25617882.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Why do some women prefer submissive men? Hierarchically disparate couples reach higher reproductive success in European urban humans. AU - Jozifkova,Eva, AU - Konvicka,Martin, AU - Flegr,Jaroslav, PY - 2014/10/20/received PY - 2014/11/20/accepted PY - 2015/1/25/entrez PY - 2015/1/27/pubmed PY - 2015/3/27/medline SP - 594 EP - 601 JF - Neuro endocrinology letters JO - Neuro Endocrinol Lett VL - 35 IS - 7 N2 - OBJECTIVES: Equality between partners is considering a feature of the functional partnerships in westernized societies. However, the evolutionary consequences of how in-pair hierarchy influences reproduction are less known. Attraction of some high-ranking women towards low-ranking men represents a puzzle. METHODS: Young urban adults (120 men, 171 women) filled out a questionnaire focused on their sexual preference for higher or lower ranking partners, their future in-pair hierarchy, and hierarchy between their parents. RESULTS: Human pairs with a hierarchic disparity between partners conceive more offspring than pairs of equally-ranking individuals, who, in turn, conceive more offspring than pairs of two dominating partners. Importantly, the higher reproductive success of hierarchically disparate pairs holds, regardless of which sex, male or female, is the dominant one. In addition, the subjects preferring hierarchy disparity in partnerships were with greater probability sexually aroused by such disparity, suggesting that both the partnership preference and the triggers of sexual arousal may reflect a mating strategy. CONCLUSION: These results challenge the frequently held belief in within-pair equality as a trademark of functional partnerships. It rather appears that existence of some disparity improves within-pair cohesion, facilitating both cooperation between partners and improving the pairs' ability to face societal challenges. The parallel existence of submissivity-dominance hierarchies within human sexes allows for the parallel existence of alternative reproductive strategies, and may form a background for the diversity of mating systems observed in human societies. Arousal of overemphasized dominance/submissiveness may explain sadomasochistic sex, still little understood from the evolutionary psychology point of view. SN - 0172-780X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25617882/Why_do_some_women_prefer_submissive_men_Hierarchically_disparate_couples_reach_higher_reproductive_success_in_European_urban_humans_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -