Good guys finish last, one of the oldest sayings in the book, and whilst when it comes to sex finishing last is a good thing, it might not be so great in the lead up.
New research published in the Evolutionary Psychological Science Journal in Canada suggests that men who are willing to exploit others for personal gain are more likely to have sex than their timid counterparts. The team behind the research believe that bullying may actually be an evolutionary quirk that demonstrates dominance and strength in society. The theory hints that bullying is an attempted display of a heightened ability to protect both their partner and their children, making him more attractive to women and threatening to the competition.
"Our findings indirectly suggest that exploitative adolescents may have more sexual partners if they are able to strategically use exploitative behaviour like bullying to target weaker individuals,” suggest lead researcher, Daniel Provenzano of the Univertiy of Windsor. The study identifies the primal links to bully as a display of strength and dominance, whilst belittling sexual rivals into withdrawing from competition when vying for the attention of the same mate.
The study of 540 male adolescents questioned them about their social habits, most notably links between sexual activity and characteristics aligned with bullying behaviour. The questions were designed to determine personality traits and emotional intelligence levels, allowing scientists to identify just how honest and humble the participants were in their actions towards others. Those who scored low on the humble-honest scale, were identified as bullies due to their antisocial values and behaviours. When employing bullying as a tactic to further their own success, the bullies were also noted to get ahead of the game sexually.
"Younger adolescents lower in 'Honesty-Humility' may therefore strategically manipulate others in a variety of ways to obtain more sexual partners," says Provenzano.
In a positive from the study, scientists suggest that we use this information to preemptively arm ourselves against discriminatory and bullying behaviour. "Our results suggest that both research and intervention efforts with older and younger adolescents need to recognise and respond to the relationships between personality, sex and bullying," explains Provenzano.