(1999). [6], Female stress responses that increased offspring survival would have led to higher fitness and thus were more likely to be passed on through natural selection. 107, No. However, consistent with informational warfare theory, the content of gossip is relevant to the context in which competition is occurring. The researchers suspect that endorphins--proteins that help alleviate pain--and oxytocin--a female reproductive hormone--may play an important role in establishing this pattern, while factors like learning and socialization help to maintain it. It refers to protection of offspring (tending) and seeking out their social group for mutual defense (befriending). Consistent with this result, rates of violence and crime are higher among males and females under conditions of resource scarcity. [15] However, a review of female aggression noted that "The fact that OT [oxytocin] enhances, rather than diminishes, attention to potential threat in the environment casts doubt on the popular ‘tend-and-befriend’ hypothesis which is based on the presumed anxiolytic effect of OT". In the Psychological Review, the researchers describe how stress can elicit another behavioral pattern they call "tend and befriend"--especially in females. (2000) argue that female social groups also provide protection from male aggression. [11] Allomothers are usually a child's aunts, uncles, fathers, grandmothers, siblings, and other women in the community. status, social positions, rights and responsibilities). Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. Tend-and-befriend is a critical, adaptive strategy that would have enhanced reproductive success among female cooperative breeders. Aronson, E., Wilson, T.D., & Akert, R.M. Therefore, they have less to gain from fighting and the risk of injury or death would produce greater fitness cost for females. Tend and Befriend Theory Shelley E. Taylor University of California, Los Angeles Abstract The Tend and Befriend theory builds on the observation that human beings affiliate in response to stress. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. [1][14], Human and animal studies (reviewed in Taylor et al., 2000) suggest that oxytocin is the neuroendocrine mechanism underlying the female "befriend" stress response. [24] However, experimentally priming people with a resource competition motive increased direct aggression in both men and women[citation needed]. [23] When experimentally primed with a mating motive or status competition motive, men were more willing to become directly aggressive towards another man, whereas women were more likely to indirectly aggress against another woman in an aggression-provoking situation. As mentioned above, befriending can serve to protect women from threats, including harm from other people. Women form friendships and alliances in part to compete for limited resources, and also in part to protect themselves from relational and reputational harm. [25] Therefore, women respond to threats by tending and befriending, and female aggression is often indirect and covert in nature to avoid retaliation and physical injury. One concept we hear about in the investment and financial planning world is a real downer. Early studies on the human stress response were done by men, on male participants, to explore arguably male scenarios from a male perspective. Cross-culturally, women and girls tend to provide more frequent and effective support than men do, and they are more likely to seek help and support from other female friends and family members. [1] Female-female social networks can provide assistance for childcare, exchange of resources, and protection from predators, other threats, and other group members. (2000) propose the tend-and-befriend female stress response as an evolutionary solution to this problem that would have been selected for in natural selection. [20] In contrast, women's responses to stress, which include turning to social sources for support, may be protective to health. Taylor et al. The "tend and befriend" theory builds on the observation that human beings affiliate in response to stress. D) taking cover and protecting offspring. But fight or flight is only part of a bigger picture, according to Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues. Rates of aggression between human males and females may not differ, but the patterns of aggression between the sexes do differ. Friends increase women's perceived capabilities for inflicting reputational harm on a rival as well as perceptions of defensive capabilities against indirect aggression. Wake, Ph.D., a sociology professor at the University of Chicago, and co-author Maggie Gallagher, assert that one major benefit of marriage is having someone to talk to during periods of stress. Title: Biobehavioral Responses to Stress in Females: Tend-and-Befriend, not Fight-or-Flight Author: Taylor, Klein, Lewis, Gruenewald, Gurung, and Updegraff Paralleling this behavioral sex difference, estrogen enhances the effects of oxytocin, whereas androgens inhibit oxytocin release. Furthermore, physical contact between mothers and their offspring following a threatening event decreased HPA activity and sympathetic nervous system arousal. In the 1930s, physiologist Walter Cannon proposed that stress triggers two primordial reactions--lashing out or running away. This is the idea that evolutionary bias may force us into unwise decisions. Smuts (1992) and Taylor et al. Among chimpanzees, this may consist of kissing and friendly grinning; among women, talking on the telephone or "doing lunch." [19] In the United States, for example, this difference is almost 6 years. Through her work at the University of California, Los Angeles, Taylor proposed a new model for female reactions to stress – the “tend and befriend” model. Studies conducted by Repetti (1989) show that mothers respond to highly stressful workdays by providing more nurturing behaviors towards their children. One hypothesis is that men's responses to stress (which include aggression, social withdrawal, and substance abuse) place them at risk for adverse health-related consequences. Women befriend others not only for protection, but also to form alliances to compete with outgroup members for resources, such as food, mates, and social and cultural resources (e.g. Those are ages in which females are at peak reproductive potential and experience the most mating competition. [1] In the presence of threats, protecting and calming offspring while blending into the environment may have increased chances of survival for mother and child. (Eds.) [11] Humans have spent most of human evolution as hunter-gatherer foragers. [2] This system is described as regulating social approach behavior. Women have higher life expectancies from birth in most countries where there is equal access to medical care. With these intriguing possibilities in mind, Taylor and her coworkers plumbed dozens of studies conducted in the last 30 years of species ranging from rats to monkeys to people in diverse cultures. It quickly became clear that, compared to males, females' physical aggression and fear-related behaviors are less intense and more "cerebral"--they are displayed in response to specific circumstances and are less tied to physiological arousal. (2005). Tend and befriend model In 2000, Taylor and colleagues developed the tend and befriendmodel of responses to stress. Tend and Befriend: Biobehavioral Bases of Affiliation Under Stress - Shelley E. Taylor, 2006. In addition to fight-or-flight, humans demonstrate tending and befriending responses to stress—responses underpinned by the hormone oxytocin, by opioids, and … Such a reproductive strategy would not have been able to evolve if women did not have help from others. In 2000, Taylor and colleagues developed the tend and befriend model of responses to stress. These social responses to threat reduce biological stress responses, including lowering heart rate, blood pressure, and hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) stress activity, such as cortisol responses. There are several theories regarding gossip, including social bonding and group cohesion. [13] Women tend to affiliate with other women under stressful situations. B) seeking social support. Throughout her career, Taylor has enjoyed pulling together the strands of her research into broad theories that she can then test in her lab. Even in modern Western societies, parents often rely on family members, friends, and babysitters to help care for children. Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. Shelley Elizabeth Taylor (born 1946) is a distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles.She received her Ph.D. from Yale University, and was formerly on the faculty at Harvard University. So while both sexes share the capacity for fight or flight, females seem to use it less. [25] Females are in general more likely to produce offspring in their lifetimes than males. Furthermore, support from another female provides enhanced stress-reducing benefits to women. However, the benefits of affiliation would have outweighed the costs in order for tend-and-befriend to have evolved. And this tendency for females to affiliate with other familiar people increases during times of stress. It refers to protection of offspring (tending) and seeking out their social group for mutual defense (befriending). D) taking cover and protecting offspring. [1] During threatening situations, group members can be a source of support and protection for women and their children. Indeed, in The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier & Better Off Financially (Doubleday, 2000), Linda J. This page was last edited on 30 August 2020, at 15:58. Carter, C.S., Lederhendler, I.I., & Kirkpatrick, B., eds. In this model, ''tend'' refers to: A) becoming physiologically aroused. This tend-and-befriend account of social responses to stress is the theoretical basis for our work. Such threats are not limited to physical harm but also include reputational damage. Group living provides numerous benefits, including protection from predators and cooperation to achieve shared goals and access to resources. Research by psychologist Tiffany Field, anthropologist Jay Kaplan and others shows that tending young and affiliating with friends dramatically reduces stress in humans and other animals, resulting in improved immune function, mood and a host of other rewards. same workplace) than when the friend was from a nonrelevant social environment. [25] Infants' primary attachment is to their mother, and maternal death increased the chances of childhood mortality in foraging societies by fivefold, compared to threefold in the cases of paternal death. Social isolation is associated with significantly enhanced risk of mortality, whereas social support is tied to positive health outcomes, including reduced risk of illness and death.[18]. In humans, oxytocin promotes mother-infant attachments, romantic pair bonds, and friendships. social exclusion, gossip, rumors, denigration). [26] Gossip is one such tactic, functioning to spread information that would damage the reputation of a competitor. Females who retained the fight-or-flight response would have decreased chances of surviving and hence decreased likelihood of their offspring survival and reproduction. Shelley E. Taylor. Taylor's team concludes that befriending is "the primary gender difference in adult human behavioral responses to stress.". [26] Negative gossip also increases with resource scarcity and higher resource value. “The dominant metaphor, ‘fight or flight,’ represents the threatening social landscape as a solitary kill-or-be-killed world,” notes psychologist Shelley Taylor, PhD, in her book The Tending Instinct: Women, Men and the Biology of Our Relationships (Henry Holt and Company, 2002). The tend-and-befriend theoretical model was originally developed by Dr. Shelley E. Taylor and her research team at the University of California, Los Angeles and first described in a [3], Oxytocin has been tied to a broad array of social relationships and activities, including peer bonding, sexual activity, and affiliative preferences. In environments with a female-biased sex ratio, where males are a more limited resource, female-to-female competition for mates is intensified, sometimes even resorting to violence. The costs of physical injury to a parent would also entail costs to his or her family. In many mammals, and cross-culturally in humans, females form especially close, stable attachments with other females, often kin. For example, when competing for a work promotion, people were more likely to spread negative work-related information about a competitor to coworkers. [11] When mothers give birth, they often have multiple dependent children in their care, who rely on adults for food and shelter for eighteen or more years. They reasoned that the adaptive value of fighting or fleeing may be lower for females, who often have dependent young and so risk more in terms of reproductive success if injured or dislocated. [10] Cooperative breeders include wolves, elephants, many nonhuman primates, and humans. 219. Social contact or support during stressful times leads to lowered sympathetic and neuroendocrine stress responses. Instead, tend and Befriend evolves from an evolutionary perspective and asserts that "people, especially women, evolved social means for dealing … Instead, Taylor's team found that, during tough times, stressed females spend significantly more time tending to vulnerable offspring than males. But Taylor's research supports a new and compelling case that stress elicits prosocial behavior, especially in females, and that this dynamic is deeply rooted in the evolution of social mammals. In addition to fight-or-flight, humans demonstrate tending and befriending responses to stress—responses underpinned by the hormone oxytocin, by opioids, and by dopaminergic pathways. Since then, the "fight or flight" concept has dominated scientific thinking about responses to stress, illuminating the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and biological processes that mediate and modify this basic pattern. Supposedly, our caveman brains are stimulated by ‘fight or flight’ tendencies in … Lower variance in reproductive success and higher costs of physical aggression may explain the lower rates of physical aggression among human females compared to males. Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. [17] "Befriending" may lead to substantial mental and physical health benefits in times of stress. Under conditions of threat, they tend to offspring to ensure their survival and affiliate with others for joint protection and comfort. Group living and affiliation with multiple unrelated others of the same sex (who do not share genetic interests) also presents the problem of competing for access to limited resources, such as social status, food, and mates. [11] Non-mother female wolves and wild dogs sometimes begin lactating to nurse the alpha female's pups. Cooperative breeders are group-living animals where infant and juvenile care from non-mother helpers are essential to offspring survival. While it's difficult to know what was advantageous millions of years ago, the contemporary benefits seem fairly clear: It has long been known that social support buffers stress for both women and men. UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) is the largest UC campus in terms of enrollment, and one of the few public research universities located in a major city. "The evolutionary psychology of women's aggression", "Stress, social support, and the buffering hypothesis", "Informational warfare: Coalitional gossiping as a strategy for within-group aggression", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tend_and_befriend&oldid=975818086, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from November 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2020, Articles needing POV-check from March 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. This theory is based in evolutionary psychology, a field which has generated significant criticism for its promotion of gender determinism.[27][28]. Socioemotional Resources/Positive Illusions Socioemotional resources, including optimism, mastery, self-esteem, and social support, have biological and psychological benefits, especially in times of stress. [26] This effect was stronger when the friend was from the same competitive social environment (e.g. Fueled by the observation that stress studies conducted in the past rarely involved females, Taylor's team wondered if women and men might respond to stress differently. Studies by Hess and Hagen (2009) show that the presence of a competitor's friend reduced people's tendencies to gossip about the competitor. [9] Breastfeeding in humans, which is associated with maternal oxytocin release, is physiologically calming to both mothers and infants.[1]. Are Meaningful Daily Activities Linked to Well-Being. When asked why he might have lost control, Alexander's friend Michael Smith could offer little explanation, saying, "He was a good man, but pressure, pressure--everybody blows up under pressure.". The biobehavioral mechanism that underlies the tend-and-befriend pattern appears to draw on the attachment-caregiving system, and neuroendocrine evidence from animal and human studies … Both oxytocin and endorphins may also contribute to the second piece of the puzzle--females' tendency to "befriend." B) seeking social support. Informational warfare is the strategic competitive tactics taking the form of indirect, verbal aggression directed towards rivals. And females of many species form tight, stable alliances, possibly reflecting an adaptive tendency to seek out friends for support in times of stress. The Tend And Befriend Response “The dominant metaphor, ‘fight or flight,’ represents the threatening social landscape as a solitary kill-or-be-killed world.” — Shelley Taylor, PhD, 2002. [1] Oxytocin administration to rats and prairie voles increased social contact and social grooming behaviors, reduced stress, and lowered aggression. The tend and befriend theory proposed by Shelley Taylor, speaks best to the coping technique used by: Women This stressor would be classified as a bioecological influence. (2007). Shelley E. Taylor is a professor of psychology at UCLA. For QAnon Believers Facing Reality, What Happens Now? 219.The In Focus box on gender differences in responding to stress presents Shelley Taylor's proposal that women ''tend-and-befriend'' in response to stress. A quick look into the fascinating research of Shelly Taylor, Ph.D of UCLA who has shown us that women and men have very different ways of dealing with stress. Burkart, Hrdy, and Van Schaik (2009) argue that cooperative breeding in humans may have led to the evolution of psychological adaptations for greater prosociality, enhanced social cognition, and cognitive abilities for cooperative purposes, including willingness to share mental states and shared intentionality. Shelley E. Taylor is a distinguished professor of psychology at UCLA and one of the country’s leading scientists. Among all primates and most mammals, endocrinological and neural processes lead females to nurture infants, including unrelated infants, after being exposed long enough to infant signals. Tend and Befriend The tend and befriend instinct contrasts with the fight or flight instinct, and was originally outlined by psychologist Shelley Taylor. Evolutionary thinking about gender differences may seem to imply that behavior is a simple matter of genes, or it may even justify stereotyping of the two sexes, but according to Taylor and her colleagues, life is much more interesting than that; our biological heritage is not destiny but rather a force that "influences and interacts with social, cultural, cognitive and emotional factors." [1], According to the Polyvagal theory developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, the "Social Nervous System" is an affiliative neurocircuitry that prompts affiliation, particularly in response to stress. Therapy on a Mission. Among foraging societies without modern birth control methods, women have high parity, tending to give birth about every four years during their reproductive lifespan. Taylor, a professor at UCLA who, along with her colleagues, developed the “tend and befriend” theory of stress response, challenges the … Oxytocin promotes affiliative behavior, including maternal tending and social contact with peers. [7] In contrast, fathers who experienced stressful workdays were more likely to withdraw from their families or were more interpersonally conflictual that evening at home. The Tend-and-Befriend Model. [3] Oxytocin is released in humans in response to a broad array of stressors, especially those that may trigger affiliative needs. But does a "man run amok" tendency truly lurk in everyone? She presented this theory and the accompanying evidence at a November 13, 2003 lecture at the … [22] Although male crime rates far exceed those of females, arrests for assault among females follow a similar age distribution as in males, peaking for females in the late teens to mid-twenties[citation needed]. Interpersonal stress is the most common and distressing type of stress for women. Their new theories may have profound implications for understanding the differences between how men and women react to stress. When faced with stress, females often respond by tending to offspring, which in turn reduces stress levels. This model contrasts with the "fight-or-flight response" which states that in the face of a harmful stressor, we either face it or run from it. [5], Women are more likely to respond to stress through tending and befriending than men. Tend-and-Befriend: Building Models. 3), this pattern of behavior makes for a significant contrast to the "fight or flight" paradigm that has dominated stress response theory for the last 50 years. The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as "fight-or-flight." But when researcher Shelley Taylor, ... PhD, suspect that the tend and befriend behavior in women, particularly as it pertains to social connections, may explain why women outlive men. The tend-and-befriend theoretical model was originally developed by Dr. Shelley E. Taylor and her research team at the University of California, Los Angeles and first described in a Psychological Review article published in the year 2000. Tend and Befriend In threatening times, people seek positive social relationships, because such contacts provide protection to maintain one’s own safety and that of one’s offspring. Studies by psychologist Rena Repetti in the late 1990's showed that after a hard day at work, women were much more nurturing toward their children, whereas men withdrew from family life. This model contrasts with the "fight-or-flight response" which states that in the face of a harmful stressor, we either face it or run from it. However, when women were given a choice to either wait alone or to affiliate with an unfamiliar man before a stressful laboratory challenge, they chose to wait alone. In evolutionary psychology, tend-and-befriend is theorized as having evolved as the typical female response to stress. Skip to main content. The In Focus box on gender differences in responding to stress presents Shelley Taylor's proposal that women ''tend-and-befriend'' in response to stress. But fight or flight is only part of a bigger picture, according to Shelley Taylor, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues. Tend-and-Befriend, Not Fight-or-Flight Shelley E. Taylor, Laura Cousino Klein, Brian P. Lewis, Tara L. Gruenewald, Regan A. R. Gurung, and John A. Updegraff University of California, Los Angeles The human stress response has been characterized, both physiologically and behaviorally, as "fight-or-flight." Taylor’s research suggests that oxytocin and endogenous opioid peptides are implicated in affiliative responses to stress, especially in women. [25] In contrast, resource competition did not increase direct aggression in either men or women when they were asked to imagine themselves married and with a young child[citation needed]. C) withdrawing from the stressor and taking care of their own emotional needs. Women create, maintain, and use social networks—especially friendships with other women—to manage stressful conditions. Drawing on previous animal and human research, UCLA psychology professor Shelley Taylor and colleagues first coined the “tend-and-befriend” concept in a … Friedman, H.S., & Silver, R.C. In this model, ''tend'' refers to: A) becoming physiologically aroused. Tend and Befriend • a theory presented by Shelley Taylor that states that women who experience stress do not necessarily run or fight, but rather turn to friends … shelley taylor Tend and Befriend. A world-renowned expert on stress and health, Taylor is the author of more than 200 scientific papers. C) withdrawing from the stressor and taking care of their own emotional needs. According to Taylor, who published her "tend and befriend" theory in the July 2000 issue of Psychological Review (Vol. Humans are born helpless and altricial, mature slowly, and depend on parental investment well into their young adult lives, and often even later. One theoretical paper that made a big splash was a 2000 paper in Psychological Review, describing what Taylor calls the “tend-and-befriend” model . Tend-and-befriend is a behavior exhibited by some animals, including humans, in response to threat. The survival of young children depended more on maternal than paternal care, which underscores the importance of maternal safety, survival, and risk aversion. Tend-and-befriend is a behavior exhibited by some animals, including humans, in response to threat. A biological basis for this regulation appears to be oxytocin. In evolutionary psychology, tend-and-befriend is theorized as having evolved as the typical female response to stress. My 80-year-old mom took on the challenging journey with meticulous dedication, instead of her habitual resistance. Research shows that women are more likely to seek the company of others in times of stress, compared to men. [10] These cognitive, prosocial processes brought on by cooperative breeding may have led to the emergence of culture and language. Shelley Elizabeth Taylor (born 1946) is a distinguished professor of psychology at the Susan Fiske and Shelley Taylor. Psychology Today © 2021 Sussex Publishers, LLC, Two Words Stop Toxic Habits and Addiction in Their Tracks, How Baby Boomers Maintain Their Sex Lives, What Goes on Beneath the Surface When Narcissists Get Angry, Four Ways to Improve Your Time Management, Why Some People Don’t Seek Mental Health Services, Analysis Paralysis vs. So while this work doesn't fully explain gender differences in reactions to stress, it does pave the way for exciting new avenues of interdisciplinary research on how stress affects our lives. In addition, people are more likely to spread negative information about potential rivals but more likely to pass on positive information about family members and friends. The presence of friends and allies can help deter malicious gossip, due to an alliance's greater ability to retaliate, compared to a single individual's ability. [12] Women and adolescent girls report more sources of social support and are more likely to turn to same-sex peers for support than men or boys are. [16], According to Taylor (2000), affiliative behaviors and tending activities reduce biological stress responses in both parents and offspring, thereby reducing stress-related health threats. [4] Thus, affiliation under stress serves tending needs, including protective responses towards offspring. So while stress can spark a rampage, a kinder, gentler response to adversity is also in our nature. Consist of kissing and friendly grinning ; among women, women are more likely respond! ” theory builds on the telephone or `` doing lunch. difference in adult human behavioral to... Evolutionary psychology, tend-and-befriend is a behavior exhibited by some animals, including protection from male.. 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