sexual selection

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  • sexual selection
    • the nature of sexual selection
      • Intrasexual Selection (Mate Competition)
        • Members of one sex (usually males) compete with each other for access to members of the opposite sex.
          • Victors able to mate, pass on genes
      • Intersexual Selection (Mate Choice)
        • Involves preferences of one sex for members of the opposite sex who possess certain qualities e.g. if a female prefers taller males sexual selection leads to an increase in taller males over time
          • Preference of one sex determines the areas in which the other sex must compete
    • short term mating preferences
      • Parental investment (PI) theory
        • Men evolved a greater desire for casual sex, ideally seeking sex earlier in r/s.
          • Females not subjected to same evolutionary pressures
            • Over a period of one year males can impregnate a large number of females but in the same time period females will only have one child – Buss
              • Men appear to lower their standards in short term mating, then show a marked decrease in attraction following sex as an evolved adaption to bring out a hasty departure – Buss and Schmitt
      • long term mating preferencinng
        • Both sexes invest heavily in offspring
          • High levels of choosiness
            • Poor long term mating is a waste of valuable resources
              • Women have an obligatory biological investment
                • So predicted to be very choosy
                  • Attracted to males with ability to invest resources in herself and kids, ability to protect herself and kids, promising parenting skills, sufficient compatibility ensuring minimal cost to herself and kids – Buss
    • Sex differences in human mate preferences
      • Buss – what males and females look for in a marriage
        • Women desire mates with good financial prospects, translated to resource acquisition and ambition
          • Men place more importance on physical attractiveness
            • Research shows that physical attractiveness provides cues to women’s health and reproductive value
              • Men also prefer younger mates
                • Both sexes wanted intelligence, kindness and dependability
    • The logic of sexual selection
      • Random mating is stupid mating
        • Genetic quality of a mate will determine half the genetic quality of the offspring
          • By joining forces with an attractive high quality mate, offspring are higher quality and individual’s genes more likely to be passed on
    • mate choice in real life
      • studies suffer from  problems with validity
        • however many real life studies  support  mate choice hypothesis
          • men who divorce tend to remarry younger women


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