Adolescents who are willing to exploit others for personal gain are more likely to bully and have sex than those who score higher on a measure of honesty and humility. This is according to a study in Springer’s journal Evolutionary Psychological Science which was led by Daniel Provenzano of the University of Windsor in Canada.Researchers believe that bullying might be more than just objectionable behaviour. It might, in fact, have evolved as a way for men to show dominance and strength, and to signal to women that they are good breeding stock, able to protect their offspring and provide for their needs. From an evolutionary perspective, a man’s dominance may make him more attractive to his potential sexual partners, as well as scaring off potential rivals.Provenzano and his colleagues investigated individual personality differences that might make one person more willing and able to use bullying tactics when competing for sexual partners than others. Two sets of participants were recruited: 144 older adolescents (with a mean age of 18.3) and 396 younger adolescents (with a mean age of 14.6). Participants had to fill in questionnaires about their sex life and number of sexual partners, as well as frequency of bullying perpetration. Through another questionnaire, the researchers learnt more about six different aspects of the participants’ personality, such as their willingness to cooperate with others, or to exploit and antagonise others. The latter is measured by looking at how agreeable and emotionally in tune someone is, as well as how honest and humble they are. Those who do not score high in these latter measures tend to display antisocial personality traits and to subsequently be bullies.Provenzano’s team found that younger people who scored lower in “Honesty-Humility” were more likely to use bullying tactics to pursue more sexual partners than others.“Younger adolescents lower in ‘Honesty-Humility’ may therefore strategically manipulate others in a variety of ways to obtain more sexual partners,” says Provenzano. “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.”According to Provenzano, adolescents lower in “Honesty-Humility” may also use bullying as an intersexual strategy to display traits such as strength and dominance to attract the opposite sex. They might also use bullying to put their rivals in a bad light, or to threaten rivals into withdrawing from intra-sexual competition in order to gain advantage when it comes to potential sexual partners.“Our results suggest that both research and intervention efforts with older and younger adolescents need to recognize and respond to the relationships between personality, sex and bullying,” explains Provenzano. Share on Facebook Pinterest Share LinkedIn Email Share on Twitter
A Cumbrian solicitor is taking on a different type of trial as he leads a world competition later this year. Nigel Davis (pictured) is the chair of the organising committee for the 2011 World Sheepdog Trials being held in September. The event is expected to attract far more than simply one man and his dog, with crowds of 40,000 anticipated for a contest involving 240 dogs from 23 different countries. Nigel, who works as a farmer as well as being a director at his agricultural law firm, has long been involved in sheepdog trials and predicts possible home success during the tournament. ‘This will be the fourth time it’s been held, and the first in England,’ he said. ‘We have as good a chance as anyone – I’d certainly expect us to finish in the top three. ‘Sheepdog trials are growing in popularity all the time and have been ever since One Man and His Dog was on television – plus there are more young people getting involved now, which is great to see.’
SRI LANKA: The final section of line reconnecting the Jaffna peninsula in the north with the rest of the rail network was formally opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on October 13. The 38 km Pallai – Jaffna link restores what was one of Sri Lanka Railways’ most important routes before its disruption by war in 1990.Guests at the reopening celebrations included Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, High Commissioner of India which funded the US$800m project with a soft loan. Construction was undertaken by IRCON International, which installed concrete sleepers and welded rail suitable for speeds up to 120 km/h. Jaffna station is being reconstructed by Sri Lanka Railways with the assistance of Bank of Ceylon, and will have ‘modern facilities while preserving its ancient architecture’.The journey time for the 400 km Jaffna – Colombo overnight service is about 6 h. There will be an initial service of four passenger trains/day, plus freight traffic which is expected to include perishable and manufactured goods, petroleum products and cement.