Evolutionary and biological approaches tend to suggest that social dominance is predominately an aspect of male social organization. Furthermore, when females behave non-normatively, they are less positively evaluated than males engaging in the same behavior. Alternate, less familiar models of females and dominance/aggression underlie the present study which proposes that dominant males and females are more similar in both behavioral profile and social reception than commonly believed. Participants (N = 1723; grades 5-10) self-rated their aggression, social motivations, and strategies and beliefs associated with interpersonal influence. Peer ratings of strategies of influence, aggression, and the degree to which peers were liked and disliked were also obtained. Results demonstrated that socially dominant males and females balance prosocial and coercive strategies and win positive peer regard, their aggressiveness notwithstanding. These findings highlight competitiveness in females and provide insights into the paradoxical relationship between positive peer regard and aggression (the peer regard-aggression paradox).
- Peer relations
- Social dominance