20 studies show how women do not support other women

I collected these studies in one place because women talk a lot about supporting other women but when it comes down to it, women often undermine each other in insidious ways.

That women in general cannot seem to get along with other women in the long-term has been one of the great disappointments of my life, and I do wonder if it’s possible to better support each other, have more productive relationships with men, and better serve our communities if we have a better understanding around our own behavior and motivations.

Without further ado:

1. Women damage rivals’ reputations but do not report explicitly disliking them: Competitive reputation manipulation: Women strategically transmit social information about romantic rivals.

2. Women report experiencing more incivility from other women in the workplace than from men: Further understanding incivility in the workplace: The effects of gender, agency, and communion.

3. Regardless of their own promiscuity, all female participants viewed sexually permissive women more negatively: Birds of a feather? Not when it comes to sexual permissiveness.

4. Women are more likely than men to respond to threats of social exclusion with exclusion: Under threat of social exclusion, females exclude more than males.

5. Females relationally victimizing each other has been observed even in elementary school: Relational and physical forms of peer victimization in preschool.

6. Adolescent girls have a poorer record of same-sex friendships than boys: The greater fragility of females’ versus males’ closest same-sex friendships.

7. While direct physical aggression is greater in males, indirect aggression is greater in females: Does sexual selection explain human sex differences in aggression?

8. The lifetime prevalence of violence by an intimate partner is 43.8% for lesbians vs 16.4% for gay men: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

9. Mommy Wars: working mothers and stay-at-home mothers argue over who are better parents: “Welcome to the Mommy Wars, Ladies”: Making Sense of the Ideology of Combative Mothering in Mommy Blogs.

10. Women react more negatively than men do when outperformed by their same-sex peers: Sex differences in reactions to outperforming same‐sex friends.

11. Even in elementary school, girls are less comfortable competing against their same-sex peers: Greater Discomfort as a Proximate Cause of Sex Differences in Competition.

12. Women are slower than men to resolve conflicts with same-sex peers: Human males appear more prepared than females to resolve conflicts with same-sex peers.

13. Women are irritated by sexy female peers: Intolerance of sexy peers: intrasexual competition among women.

14. Indirect aggression from women towards other women is about self-promotion and derogation of sexual rivals: Do human females use indirect aggression as an intrasexual competition strategy?

15. Female groups engage in social ostracism more than male groups: Human Sexual Differences in the Use of Social Ostracism as a Competitive Tactic.

16. Queen Bees: women are less likely than men to develop lower status same-sex peers: High status males invest more than high status females in lower status same-sex collaborators.

17. Women may think other women are good managers, but don’t want to work for them: An exploration of unspoken bias: women who work for women.

18. In the workplace, women often see highly qualified female candidates as “competitive threats” that might be preferred and lower qualified female candidates as “collective threats” that could reinforce negative stereotypes about women and do not support either as work group peers: Female tokens in high-prestige work groups: Catalysts or inhibitors of group diversification?

19. The majority of women said their relationship with their female in-law caused them long-term unhappiness and stress: In-law tensions hit women hardest.

20. In a study of “misogynistic” Tweets, roughly half were sent from women about other women: The Use of Misogynistic Terms on Twitter.

Feature image: Breaking up of the Blue Stocking Club by Carl H. Pforzheimer (1815)

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