Research Principal Zoey Bevington’s Research Cited In New Study by Yale University

Zoey Bevington, Research Principal at Rathbone Falvey Research, investigated the correlation between sex ratio and domestic violence against women during her undergraduate studies. Her  findings have garnered attention and praise from esteemed researchers like Dr. Robert Wyman of Yale University, and are cited in his upcoming paper.

During her undergraduate studies in Anthropology at Boise State University, Zoey Bevington, Research Principal at Rathbone Falvey Research became a member of the Parenting, Reproduction, and Mating Strategies lab group (PRAMS lab) under the guidance of Dr. Kristin Snopkowski. 

Together, they delved into these subjects through an evolutionary lens. One focal point of their research was the sex ratio within populations. For her senior thesis, Bevington chose to investigate the correlation between sex ratio and incidents of domestic violence against women.

Sex ratio is an evolutionary driver of human mating systems, as well as parental investment and reproductive competition. Two conflicting theoretical predictions have been proposed: 1) when there are more males in a region, heterosexual males may use intimate partner violence as a means to control their mate or 2) when there are more males in a region, heterosexual females have greater bargaining power and males engage in behaviors that are more desirable to women.

To explore the association between sex ratio and domestic violence against women, Bevington sought county-level data on domestic violence incidents, which she obtained for New York State and California. The sample size of counties in both states proved adequate for her modeling purposes.

Backwards stepwise linear regression models were executed in R for each state individually. These models encompassed all control variables along with the sex ratio and domestic violence data.

Data was collected from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and included female victims of intimate partner violence reported in 2017 by county. The study analyzed the rate of incidents reported per 10,000 men in a given county compared to the sex ratio. Preliminary results show that as sex ratio increases (there is a greater number of men than women in a county), the rate of domestic violence against women declines.

Recently her research was cited in a new study, conducted by Dr. Robert Wyman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology at Yale University.

Dr. Robert Wyman is writing a paper on sex-selective abortion and its potential connection to crime. In the course of his investigation, he came across the poster co-authored by Bevington, which he found to be impressive. Dr. Wyman admired the excellent data, analysis, and writing presented in the poster, noting its succinct yet convincing nature. He particularly appreciated the guidance provided to an undergraduate researcher.

Dr. Wyman and his collaborator, Guigui Yao, have referenced Bevington’s poster twice in their paper.  The paper, What’s Wrong With Sex-Selective Abortion? Is set to be published later this year. 

More on Bevington’s thesis can be found here.