parental investment

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  • parental investment
    • Commentary on paternal investment
      • Males do invest
        • Joint parental care desirable because of obvious benefits of successful reproduction
          • If males can increase success of childrearing it would pay them to do so – Dunbar
            • Males may restrict reproductive opportunities and invest more in each offspring
              • Research supports claim that males do contribute
      • Parental certainty not always an issue
        • Andersen – measured resources invested by fathers and stepfathers
          • Men didn’t discriminate between kids born to current partner from previous r/s and their own kids from previous r/s
      • IDA - Evolutionary explanations are reductionist
        • Rowe – Based on evolutionary factors alone, severely limited
          • Men’s investment depends on various personal and social conditions e.g. r/s with mother and childhood experiences
            • Tend to correlate with degree to which men invest in offspring
    • Consequence of greater female investment
      • Extramarital affairs
        • Females want to ensure good quality offspring so as not to waste their efforts
          • Way to achieve this is to marry a man with good resources + caring but shop around for good genes through affairs
            • Baker and Bellis – estimated that as many as 14% population were products of extramarital matings
      • Benefits and risks of cuckoldry
        • Some women may attempt to offset greater PI by cuckolding their partners
          • Benefits - receiving additional social support of other male and higher quality genes for kids
            • Risky because he could abandon her or use mate retention strategies – Daly and Wilson
    • sex differences in PI
      • Males can opt out in a way that females can’t.
        • Most males can afford to devote little in comparison to females – Daly and Wilson
      • Maternal investment
        • Investment by females considerably greater because less gametes produced over lifetime than a male produces sperm.
          • Females can also be sure they are the parents
            • Characteristic of reproduction is internal fertilisation
        • Why do human females invest more?
          • Brain size increased, childbirth became more difficult
            • Therefore kids are now born relatively immature to make childbirth easier
              • Meaning they need to be fed and cared for after birth
                • Human females breastfeed, are more burdened
                  • Greater pre-natal and post-natal investment by females
        • Costs of maternal investment
          • Costs of childcare especially high
            • For females minimum PI is 9 months pregnancy followed by years of feeding and carrying
              • For males minimum contribution is few moments of copulation and teaspoonful of semen.
      • Paternal Investment
        • Invest less than females
          • Women can produce limited number of offspring
            • Men can potentially father unlimited number
              • Male can walk away having achieved fertilisation without anything to do with kid
                • Indiscriminate mating could cost a woman great deal of time and resources
        • Parental investment and cuckoldry
          • When males do invest they are under pressure to protect themselves from cuckoldry
            • Human males make considerable investment in their kids so have greater concern than females about fidelity of their mate – Miller
              • Men try to ensure care isn’t misdirected to non-relatives
        • Sexual and emotional jealousy
          • Sexual infidelity poses different adaptive problems for males and females
            • A man whose mate is unfaithful risks investing in offspring not his own
              • Woman with unfaithful mate risked diversion of resources away from her and her family
                • Sexual jealousy may have evolved as solution to these problems – Buss
                  • Men are more jealous of sexual but women more jealous of shift of emotional focus


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