Role of Facial Asymmetry and Relationship Status in Indirect Aggression among Women Women usually engage in indirect aggression more than direct aggression towards fellow women (Campbell, 1995, p. 104). Indirect aggression can include any form of hostility that does not use direct physical assault, such as gossip, criticism of other women’s characteristics, and social exclusion (McAndrew, 2014, p. 197). Campbell (1995) described her 1986 study on 251 juvenile British school girls, where she learned that the latter usually practiced indirect aggression due to attacks on their personal integrity, loyalty issues (e.g. when a girl attacks another girl’s sister’s reputation), and jealousy over romantic partners (p. 113). She believed that this hostility has an evolutionary basis, wherein women attack one another due to competition over males and their resources and the need to promote themselves to ensure their reproduction (Campbell, 1995, p. 115). It will be interesting to know if physical attractiveness that can be measured through facial symmetry is correlated with indirect aggression. It is possible that attractive women may practice more indirect aggression than less attractive ones because of the evolutionary need to promote their reputation to men and to deny competitors of access to men and other social resources. It is assumed that physically attractive women are more indirectly aggressive than less attractive ones because of their dominance over other women, since, evolutionary theory suggests that males choose their female partners through their sexual attractiveness, which makes attractive women as the dominant women in their gender group (Campbell, 1995, p. 115).McAndrew (2014) added that gossip may be a strategy for reputation management that suggests the evolutionary basis of intrasexual competition through excluding competitors and taking away potential sources of social support. Muñoz-Reyes et al. (2012) noted from their study that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of physical traits is a measure of developmental instability and health and that FA is negatively correlated to hostility for older adolescent women and to the physical attractiveness of women. It is hypothesized that attractive women with low FA practice indirect aggression more than less attractive women, and that those who are in a relationship and attractive are more aggressive than other attractive and less attractive women who are not in a relationship because of the need to protect their access to their male partners.The independent variables are FA and the relationship status of the participants, while the dependent variable is indirect aggression toward same-sex individuals. To test these hypotheses, undergraduate college students will be recruited through advertisements for participants who are willing to undertake an impression study for $10. The target sampling will be 100. They will be told that their pictures would also be taken, so that others could make impressions from their faces in another related study. Once in the classrooms selected for the study, their frontal head pictures would be taken under controlled conditions for light and head orientation (Muñoz-Reyes et al., 2012, p. 858). They would be asked to wear shower caps to remove all hair from blocking their faces, to remove all facial ornaments, and to look neutral in front of the camera. Their FA would be measured following the procedures from Muñoz-Reyes et al. (2012, p. 858). Afterwards, they would answer a general questionnaire that asked for their sex, gender orientation, relationship status, ethnicity, race, age, religion, and college degree being pursued. Then, they would answer the Indirect Aggression Scale–Aggressor and Victimization versions (IAS–A, IAS–V. Forrest, Eatough, amp. Shevlin, 2005, as cited in Arnocky et al., 2012, p. 295) to identify their indirect aggression toward others and their experience as victims of indirect aggression. If the hypothesis is confirmed, it can help understand the role that indirect aggression plays in impression management for women. It may suggest that beauty may be linked to indirect aggression and that those in a relationship are at risk for hostility against fellow women.ReferencesArnocky, S., Sunderani, S., Miller, J.L., amp. Vaillancourt, T. (2012). Jealousy mediates the relationship between attractiveness comparison and females indirect aggression. Personal Relationships, 19(2), 290-303.Campbell, A. (1995). A few good men: Evolutionary psychology and female adolescent aggression. Ethology and Sociobiology, 16(2), 99-123.McAndrew, F.T. (2014). The sword of a woman: Gossip and female aggression. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19(3), 196-199.Muñoz-Reyes, J.A., Gil-Burmann, C., Fink, B., amp. Turiegano, E. (2012). Facial asymmetry and aggression in Spanish adolescents. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(7), 857-861.
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