||In most cooperatively breeding birds and mammals, reproductive rates are lower for social subordinates than for dominants, and it is common for reproduction in subordinates to be completely suppressed. Early research conducted in captivity showed that losing fights can increase glucocorticoid (GC) secretion, a general response to stress. Because GCs can suppress reproduction, it has been widely argued that chronic stress might underlie reproductive suppression of social subordinates in cooperative breeders. Contradicting this hypothesis, recent studies of cooperative breeders in the wild show that dominant individuals have elevated GCs more often than do subordinates. The findings that elevated GCs can be a consequence of subordination or a cost of dominance complicate the conventional view of social stress, with broad ramifications for the evolution of dominance and reproductive suppression.