Parental Investment

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  • Parental Investment
    • A01
      • Trivers stated that any investment made by a parent in an offspring that increases the chance that the offspring will survive at the expense of that parents ability to invest in any other offspring.
      • The investment made by females is greater as women produce less eggs than men do sperm. The greater investment is explained through parental certainty as you cannot tell who the father is but you can the mother.
      • The costs of investments may play a part because in females, the costs of childcare is high such as feeding, caring and bathing.
      • Another reason why women invest more is difficulty at birth such as enlargement of the skull therefore the child birth occurs earlier so infants are premature which requires greater investment from parents.
      • The minimum obligatory made by humans males is less than females for many reasons such as males can reproduce much more and women have to carry around the child.
      • When males do invest parentally, they are under pressure to protect themselves from the possibility of cuckoldry. Males make a considerable investments in their children, they have a greater concern than females about the fidelity of their mates.
        • The possibility of sexual infidelity posed different adaptive problems for males and females. Men are more jealous of the sexual act whereas females are more jealous of the emotional shift.
    • A02
      • The expense of childrearing means that females want to ensure good quality offspring so they don't want to waste their efforts. A way to achieve this is to marry someone with good resources but shop around for good genes through extra marital affairs.
        • A magazine found 14% were products of extra-marital affairs. However, it was a magazine so it cannot be generalised to the rest of the population.
      • Some women may attempt to offset their greater parental investments by cuckolding their partners. The benefits are that women could obtain by this behaviour is receiving additional social support from another male. But, they are at greater risk of abandonment by their current partners.
      • Males do invest
        • Joint parental care is desireable because the benefits of the successful reproduction. Males can increase the success of childrearing, it will pay them to do so. This suggests that males do contribute as much as women.
      • Buss
        • Found that in male students indicated more concern over sexual infidelity whereas women expressed more concern over emotional infidelity. This suggests that jealousy is adaptive in both males and females.
      • We can understand the origin patterns in human behaviour in making a comparative analysis of parental investment by closely related species such as chimps.
        • Male chimps show little or no investment which suggests that the amount of male parental investment represents evolutionary change of our learning.
      • Males parental investment depends upon various personal and social conditions such as the quality of relationship with the mother, characteristic of the child and personal factors of the father.
        • This suggests that the evolutionary explanations are reductionist as they ignore social factors such as human behaviour.


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