Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Makhanova, Anastasia

Committee Member/Reader

Mortensen, Jennifer

Committee Member/Second Reader

Zhuang, Xuan

Committee Member/Third Reader

Plavcan, Joseph M.


This study was designed to investigate the relationship between hormonal contraceptives and prestige and dominance status-seeking tactics. Existing literature has examined how the hormones estrogen and progesterone, especially in relation to the fertile window of the menstrual cycle, are associated with prestige and dominance but has yet to look in depth at how hormonal contraceptives might alter this impact. The current study asked participants to complete a 22- item questionnaire assessing dominance and prestige. I hypothesized that women on hormonal contraceptives would have lower scores for prestige and dominance compared to women who are naturally cycling. The results did not support either hypothesis. Women on hormonal contraceptives scored significantly higher for both prestige and dominance compared to naturally cycling women. Notably, I did not divide hormonal contraceptive users by method of delivery or naturally cycling women by cycle phase. In conclusion, further research must be done to determine the effects the different delivery methods may have on prestige and dominance tactics and other behavioral effects that may be unknown.


hormonal contraceptives, dominance, prestige, status seeking tactics