AQA A Psychology PSYA3 Sexual Selection

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Sexual Selection
The nature of Sexual Selection
Inter and Intrasexual selection
Important feature of most sexually reproducing species is colour/vibrance ­ e.g peacock
Darwin came up with the 2 features of sexual selection
Members of same sex compete with each other for the other sex
Victors pass on the genes
Traits that lead to the success subsequently passed to next generation
One sex preferring the other sex that possesses the most certain qualities
The preference of one sex determines the areas of which the other must compete
e.g plumage (like the peacock), or economic resources
indicators reveal traits that could be passed to offspring (selection of good genes) as well as
information about chances of mate protecting and supporting offspring ­ humans preprogrammed
to look for these factors, increasing willingness to mate with individual who possesses most traits
Short Term Mating Preferences
Parental Investment Theory ­ men evolved a greater desire for sex earlier in a relationship
Buss ­ the less time elapsed before he has intercourse with another women, the more number of
women he can impregnate ­ however women only can get pregnant once a year so less desire
Buss and Schmitt ­ men tend to lower their standards in context of mating opportunities, then
showed decrease in attraction after sex ­ evolved adaption to bring about hasty departure which
prevents them spending too long with one woman
Long Term Mating Preferences
Both sexes invest for long term ­ more choosiness also for both
Poor longterm preference would mean wasting valuable resources
Women predicted to have particular choice of mate due to obligatory biological investment
Buss Attracted to mates who are
Able to invest in resources in her and her children
Able to physically protect her and her children
Show promise as a good parent
Sufficiently compatible to ensure minimal costs to her and her children
Buss also looked at gender differences ­
10,000 people, 37 different cultures
Women desired mates with good prospects ­ transpiring to resources, qualities linked to resource
acquisition (e.g ambition)
Men placed more importance on physical attributes ­ research consistently shown appearance
provides a wealth of cues to woman's health and hence her fertility and reproductive value
Men also wanted mates who were younger ­ indication men value increased fertility in potential
Both sexes wanted intelligence, kind and dependable

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Logic of Sexual Selection
Cost of mate choice may impair survival
Rationale behind selection is random mating is stupid mating ­ pays to be choosy ­ genetic quality of
mate will determine half genetics of offspring
Lowquality mates (unattractive and unhealthy) more likely to produce unattractive, unhealthy
Joining forces with attractive mate, offspring higher quality and genes more likely to pass on
Mate choice and menstrual cycle
Pentonvoak ­ female mate choice varies across menstrual cycle
Women chose feminised version of male face…read more


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