Evolutionary theory predicts that female intrasexual competition will occur when males of high genetic quality are considered to be a resource. It is probable that women compete in terms of attractiveness since this is one of the primary criteria used by men when selecting mates. Furthermore, because hormones influence the mate–selection process, they may also mediate competition. One competitive strategy that women use is derogation—any act intended to decrease a rival's perceived value. To investigate intrasexual competition through derogation, the influence of oestrogen on women's ratings of female facial attractiveness was examined. During periods of high oestrogen, competition, and hence derogation, increased, as evidenced by lower ratings of female facial attractiveness. By contrast, oestrogen levels did not significantly affect ratings of male faces. These findings support the theory of female intrasexual competition with respect to attractiveness.