Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Brown, Mitch

Committee Member/Reader

Pare, Adam

Committee Member/Second Reader

Alrubaye, Adnan

Committee Member/Third Reader

Dominguez, Freddy


Mate retention behaviors serve to discourage partner defection from a current pairbond. Such behaviors are oftentimes more prevalent toward intrasexual rivals exhibiting physical and behavioral cues implicating that rival as an optimal mate. Among these features in men are their upper body strength, a feature diagnostic of heritable fitness, and men's ability to produce humor, a cue to their social competence. This study considered the intersection of these desirable features in shaping men's mate retention behavior toward an intrasexual rival. After learning of a hypothetical interloper exhibiting high or low upper body strength while similarly using humor in an affiliative or aggressive manner toward a hypothetical romantic partner, men indicated their interest in employing mate retention tactics toward the interloper. Although few differences emerged in men's responses, a physically strong rival employing affiliative elicited greater interest in jealousy induction tactics. Results provide initial evidence for how physical features and behavioral repertoires can work in concert to shape men's mate retention tactics.


Mate retention, Physical strength, Humor styles, Intrasexual competition