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Women who feel more at risk of crime prefer dominant partner

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LONDON — Women who prefer physically formidable and dominant partner–regardless of the circumstances– also tend to feel more vulnerable to crime, according to research from the University of Leicester.

Previous researches suggested that women who grow up in high-crime areas and perceive they are at risk of criminal victimization find dominant men more appealing, perhaps because of the protection they can offer.

However, the University of Leicester group suggests that women who women who are attracted to dominant men generally feel more at risk of victimization, even when their risk of victimization is actually low.

PhD researcher Hannah Ryder from the University of Leicester’s Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, explained: “PPFDM appears to be associated with women’s self-assessed vulnerability.

The study found that women’s fear of crime significantly differed in response to crime cues – for example location and time of day – and that overall fear of crime was related to PPFDM.

However, the relationship between PPFDM and fear did not vary in relation to risk situation, perpetrator gender, or crime type, suggesting that the psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship between perceived risk of victimization and PPFDM are general in nature.

Women with strong PPFDM feel relatively more at risk, fearful, and vulnerable to criminal victimization compared to their counterparts, regardless of whether there are situational risk factors present.

“Our research suggests that the relationship between feelings of vulnerability, as measured by fear of crime, and women’s preference for physically formidable and dominant mates is stable, and does not update according to environmental circumstances or relative level of protection needed.”

The study involved assessing whether the relationship between fear of crime and PPFDM was higher for crimes that cause relatively higher physical and psychological pain, such as sexual assault.

Across two studies in the lab and field, women observed images and real life situations that varied in the risk of crime, such as crime hotspots and safe spots, and were asked to rate their perceived risk of victimization – a measure of fear of crime – of various crimes.

This included male – and female – perpetrated physical assault and robbery and male-perpetrated rape.

In both studies, the research team also administered a scale that measured women’s PPFDM, and assessed the association between women’s PPFDM score and their risk perception scores.

The research was undertaken as part of Hannah’s PhD project at the University of Leicester and was funded by a Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG) research grant.

The study is published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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