Social status predicts different mating and reproductive success for men and women in China: evidence from the 2010–2017 CGSS data View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2022-07-13

AUTHORS

Yikang Zhang, Pekka Santtila

ABSTRACT

Evolutionary psychological theories posit that higher social status is conducive to men’s reproductive success. Extant research from historical records, small scale societies, as well as industrialized societies, support this hypothesis. However, the relationship between status difference between spouses and reproductive success has been investigated less. Moreover, even fewer studies have directly compared the effect of status and status difference between spouses on reproductive success in men and women. Using data from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) conducted between 2010 and 2017 (N = 55,875; 28,931 women) and operationalizing social status as standardized income and educational level (compared with same-sex peers), we examined how social status and relative status between spouses impact men’s and women’s mating and reproductive success. We found that (1) men with higher social status were more likely to have long-term mating (being in a marriage and/or not going through marriage disruption) and reproductive success, mainly through having a lower risk of childlessness; (2) women with higher social status were less likely to have mating and reproductive success; and (3) relative status between spouses had an impact on the couple’s reproductive success so that couples, where the husband had higher status compared to the wife, had higher reproductive success. Thus, social status positively impacted men’s reproductive success, but relative status between spouses also affected mating and impacted childbearing decisions.Significance statementIn terms of standardized educational level and income among peers, social status positively predicts men’s mating and reproductive success in contemporary China. However, while a higher social status increases the probability of having at least one child, it does not predict a greater number of children for men. A status difference between spouses, on the other hand, consistently predicts having children. Thus, the higher the husband’s status relative to his wife, the greater the likelihood of having the first, second, and third children. The current results suggest that when examining the effect of status on mating and reproduction, social status and status within a family should be considered. We also stress the importance of exploring the potential proximate mechanisms by which a status difference influences childbearing decisions. More... »

PAGES

101

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URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s00265-022-03209-2

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00265-022-03209-2

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https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1149442200


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