Historical and experimental evidence of sexual selection for war heroism

Rusch, H., Leunissen, J.M. ORCID: 0000-0002-1639-3174 and van Vugt, M., 2015. Historical and experimental evidence of sexual selection for war heroism. Evolution and Human Behavior: Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, 36 (5), pp. 367-373. ISSN 1090-5138

[img]
Preview
Text
PubSub6404_Leunissen.pdf - Post-print

Download (349kB) | Preview

Abstract

We report three studies which test a sexual selection hypothesis for male war heroism. Based on evolutionary theories of mate choice we hypothesize that men signal their fitness through displaying heroism in combat. First, we report the results of an archival study on US American soldiers who fought in World War II. We compare proxies for reproductive success between a control sample of 449 regular veterans and 123 surviving Medal of Honor
recipients of WWII. Results suggest that the heroes sired more offspring than the regular veterans. Supporting a causal link between war heroism and mating success, we then report the results of two experimental studies. We find evidence that female participants specifically regard men more sexually attractive if they are war heroes. This effect is absent for male participants judging female war heroes, suggesting that bravery in war is a gender specific signal. Finally, we discuss possible implications of our results.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Sexual selection for war heroism
Publication Title: Evolution and Human Behavior: Official Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
Creators: Rusch, H., Leunissen, J.M. and van Vugt, M.
Publisher: Elsevier for the Human Behavior and Evolution Society
Date: September 2015
Volume: 36
Number: 5
ISSN: 1090-5138
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2015.02.005DOI
S1090513815000239Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 17 Oct 2016 13:35
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 14:07
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28863

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View

Views

Views per month over past year

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year