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Variability in the Behavior of Women in Violent Inter-Group Conflict

Ralph Hartley


Published: 2009/06/01


Males, especially young males, are the fuel of violent inter-group competition. While vulnerable to being targeted for abuse as a result of their gender, women in environments characterized by lethal conflict may also invest in the collective pursuit of dominance over an adversary. This behavior can be manifested as active aggression or indirectly by means of coercion or manipulation of in-group males. Using cross-cultural examples of past as well as contemporary behavior, this essay examines this variation and posits fundamental interpretations of how risk is evaluated.

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