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A Biosocial Model of Status in Face-to-Face Primate Groups

Allan Mazur
Social Forces
Vol. 64, No. 2 (Dec., 1985), pp. 377-402
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2578647
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2578647
Page Count: 26
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A Biosocial Model of Status in Face-to-Face Primate Groups
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Abstract

This paper describes a biosocial model of status in face-to-face groups. It argues that status ranks are allocated among members of a group through face-to-face interaction and that the allocation process is similar across each primate species, including humans. Every member of a group signifies its rank through physical or vocal demeanor. For example, behavioral signs of dominant status include erect posture, glares, eye contact, strutting, and (in humans) assertive speech. Individuals whose behaviors exhibit dominance show high or rising levels of testosterone compared to those who exhibit deference. Testosterone and dominance are reciprocally related. The model relies more on research on males than on females. It is proposed as a theory about both sexes, but with a caution that little is known about sex differences in the relation of hormones to dominance behavior.

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