Girls are no less competitive than boys, they simply employ different tactics. While boys use head-on aggression to get what they want, girls rely on the pain of social exclusion.
To test the apparent differences in how very young children compete, Joyce Benenson at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts, US and her colleagues divided 87 four-year-olds into same-sex groups of three. In successive trials, each trio received either one, two or three highly prized animal puppets.
The sexes behaved similarly when there were two or three puppets to go round. The differences became clear, though, when there was just one puppet for each group.
Boys tended to ask for the puppet, grab at it, or even chase the child who had it. In contrast, girls punished the puppet-holder by excluding her from their clique, whispering behind her back or even hiding from her.
Benenson says that these socially aggressive tactics may explain why girls exhibit greater jealousy over same-sex friendships than boys. They could be trying to protect themselves against exclusive coalitions.
Melissa Emery Thompson at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, also in the US, praises the study for creating "organic yet controlled situations in which the children's natural behaviour emerges spontaneously".
She says the results help to dispel the myth that females are the less competitive sex. Even at an early age, they avoid risky direct aggression in favour of subtler forms of competition, such as small shifts in tone and expression, or spreading rumours.
Emery Thompson says that these differences also explain why human males tend to cooperate more effectively in groups while many females "work well in pairs and tend to maintain only a few close relationships."
"Attenborough doubts we will arrest the decline in the world's biodiversity. "The thing that really appalls me is that there are three times as many people alive on Earth as when I started making programmes. The space left for other species has been eaten up."
Yet there is plenty of space... vast areas of relatively little change, humans concentrate and minimally effect the surface generally aside from large animals and blocs of vegetation.
Bennett Galef and Elaine Whiskin at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontaria, Canada, put rats off cinnamon-flavoured food pellets by injecting the animals with a nausea-inducing chemical after their meals. Given a choice, these trained animals preferred to eat cocoa-flavoured food pellets.
However, when those rats then spent time with "demonstrator" rats that had just eaten and smelt of cinnamon, they regained their liking for it (Animal Behaviour, DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2007.11.012).Until now, humans and chimps were the only other animals known to conform in this way.
The big question now, he says, is why they conform. "It's not immediately obvious why a rat or chimp or human would cast aside what it knows from its own experience and adopt an inferior course of action just because everybody else is doing it."
You buy stock in $1m Co. for $1 a share, a year later, stock is trading at $100 a share, so appears your stock is worth $100 a share because someone just traded theirs for that price; if the price of stock drops to $1 again, the $99 lost never actually existed.
In article <6gnlv9$hl...@xenon.inbe.net>, Marc Verhaegen
>I'm only a few days on the internet.
>For about 20 years - a few years after I read Elaine Morgan's The Descent of
>Woman - I'm trying to get AAT papers published in scientific/anthropological
>journals, All comments are very welcome.
I am a spectator of the argument game, and you have provided a new and interesting opponent; yourself. You will provide many hours of entertainment to spectators such as myself. The arguers argue. They will argue to waste your time, and as one tires, others will take their place in the game.
Know your objective, attain it.
Here are some of the rules which the gamers will follow:
1) They never provide answers, only spurious questions and ridicule.
- have no questions
2) They always end the mail with a glib quotation by someone quite
obscure and preferably dead or an apparent mistake of yours.
3) They will always write patronisingly to you just before their most
- the pre-warning conduct
4) The least able of them is always the most aggressive, trying to impress
- the code of cohesion