Sex differences in victimization and consequences of cyber aggression: An evolutionary perspective.

Cyber aggression is a pervasive problem, yet evolutionary psychologists have been slow to address this area of research. We utilize an evolutionary perspective to provide a theoretical framework to address research that has found that women are more vulnerable to negative effects of cyber aggression. Studies of intrasexual competition suggest that men and women adopt different strategies to derogate competitors that target fitness-relevant characteristics. We explore the possibility that cyber aggression follows the same principles and propose that sex differences in cyber aggression are more nuanced than previous research suggests. Study 1 replicates the finding of previous research that women are more upset by cyber aggression than men. Study 2 provides qualitative insight into sex differences in content of cyber aggression, demonstrating that women experience online posts derogating their physical appearance more often than men, while men experience online posts derogating their status more often than women. The discussion focuses on future directions for the application of evolutionary psychology to cyber aggression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)