This chapter takes a broad look at women’s competitive behavior and the hormonal mechanisms that contribute to it, beginning with a comparative discussion of competition in female, males, and non-humans. Here we hope to illustrate how hormonal trade-offs impact women’s competition similarly in some respects but distinctively in others when compared to men and non-humans. We then discuss naturally occurring hormonal variation across the female lifespan, from birth to menarche, during the reproductive years, and after menopause, and what impact such fluctuation has on women’s competition. This section highlights how knowledge of the impact of hormonal variation on women’s competition at one stage of life may be extended to inform knowledge at others. Through utilizing both a comparative and lifespan approach we hope to provide a broad scope for how hormones regulate competitive behavior in women. We conclude with a discussion of avenues for future research in this area.
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