Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour

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  • Created by: Kelsie
  • Created on: 31-05-14 13:43
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  • Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour
    • 4
      • Long-term mating = both sexes invest heavily in offspring
        • Choosiness is high. They don't want to invest in children that have been given poor genes
          • Wastes resources
      • Women more choosy. They are obliged biologically to invest in a child
        • So they look for qualities e.g good resources + physical strength in males
    • 8
      • Clarke + Hattfield support idea men more likely to seek short term mating
        • 75% men willing to have sex with attractive women, women would not.
          • Males have evolved mechanisms to increase reproductive success.
    • 3
      • Men = greater desire for casual sex. Seek sex earlier in relationship
        • Men can produce several children a year, women cannot.
          • They want to impregnate women before moving on, more chance of genes being passed on
            • May experience decrease in sexual attraction after sex to stop them spending too much time with one woman
    • 9
      • Female mate choice varies across menstrual cycle
        • Penton-voak = females preferred more masculine faces during fertile periods and more feminine faces during less fertile periods
          • Suggests female may desire a male w/ feminine features as it represents = kindness + co-operation in child rearing. Female may desire male with masculine appearance as they possess desirable quality for offspring.
    • 5
      • Buss looked at what individuals look for in marriage partner
        • 10,000+ people from 37 different cultures
          • Results supported evolutionary explanations of sexual selection
            • e.g. women want men with good financial resources to be able to provide for children
            • e.g. men want women who are physically attractive + appear fertile
              • + youth = sign of fertility + health
    • 2
      • Intersexual selection = mates have preferences for certain characteristics
      • The preferences of one sex must be met by the other e.g. men want women who are physically attractive
        • These indicators reveal traits that could be passed to offspring e.g. height
          • Or which could be passed on to offer protection = economic resources
    • 10
      • Visual + chemical indicators tell men when women are at their most fertile point of menstrual cycle.
        • According to evolution, men would fins women most attractive at these times
          • Miller at al: found lap dancers earned twice as many tips during this phase - men found them most attractive during fertile stage on menstrual cycle
    • 6
      • Buss + similar studies have validity issues
        • Although they show evidence of mate choice this may be different to actual mate choice as there may be compromise on certain aspects
      • However another study by Buss supports previous study
        • Study of married couples from 29 different cultures = men do marry younger women.
    • 7
      • Although Buss supports idea men prefer younger women this may not because of fertility
      • Some critics try to describe it in terms of social power = younger women are more easily controlled
      • Kenrick rejected this idea
        • teenage males are most attracted to women 5 years older, these women are not easily controlled
    • 1
      • Intrasexual selection = members of one sex (usually males) compete with others for a member of the opposite sex
      • Victors pass on genes, losers don't
      • The factor which made the male successful is passed onto offspring, ensuring their survival + genes passed on
    • 11
      • Gender bias in research into short term mating
        • Although short term mating could be costly for females they could also benefit from it
          • May use short term mating to produce genetically diverse offspring/ way of ending relationship with poor quality male.


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