Sexual Selection

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  • Sexual Selection
    • Intra-sexual selection
      • Members of one sex compete with one another to  gain access with members of the opposite sex. The victors are able to mate meaning their genes are successfully passed on.
    • Inter-sexual selection
      • Preferences of one sex for members of the opposite sex who possess certain qualities. For example females may prefer tall males.
    • Short term mating preferences
      • According to Parental Investment Theory men would seek sex earlier in a relationship.
      • Over a period of one year, a man would be able to impregnate a large number of women whereas a woman would only produce a single child.
      • Men strive to pass on their genes.
    • Long-term mating preferences
      • Women are attracted to men that are able to invest their resources in her and their children, are able to protect them, show promise as a good parent, and are sufficiently compatible to minimise costs.
      • Males are attracted to women that show signs of fertility as they do not want to waste their resources. For example they placed importance on physical attractiveness.
    • Evaluation
      • Choosing the right mate could enhance survival
        • Low -quality mates are more likely to produce unattractive and unhealthy offspring whereas high-quality mates will produce high quality offspring.
          • The higher the quality of the offspring the more likely they are to survive as they have good genes.
      • Female mate choice varies across the menstrual cycle.
        • Penton-Voak found that women choose a slightly more feminised version of a male face as "most attractive" for a long term relationship. However, when they were most fertile during their menstrual cycle they chose more masculine features.
          • This tells us that women's mate choice does vary.
      • Males have a preference for younger women.
        • This is because they may be easier to control so are preferred as mates.
          • However, Kenrick et al rejected this hypothesis because they found that teenage males are attracted to women that are five years older than them.


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