Evolutionary Explanations of Parental Investment Essay Plan / Notes

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  • Created on: 08-04-14 12:25
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Relationships, Sheet 4 08.04.2014
Discuss evolutionary explanations of
parent investment (24 marks)
AO1: AO2:
Bateman's Principle: Females almost The Clown Shrimp: Rather than mating
always invest more energy into producing with as many females as possible, they
offspring than males. A single male can will spend many weeks diligently guarding
easily fertilise all a female's eggs, she will a single female. (Refuting evidence).
not produce more offspring by mating with The Macaw: A monogamous bird and
more than one male. A male's the same pair remain together for the
reproductive success increases with each majority of their 4060year life span.
female he mates with, whereas a female's (Refuting evidence)
reproductive success is not increased The Wattles Jacana: A type of
nearly as much as by mating with more waterbird, where the female has the
males. This results in sexual selection. colourful plumage instead of the male
parental care is miantly the males
responsibility sex role reverse. (Refuting
Triver's Theory: The entire investment Clark & Hatfield: Attractive confederate
made by parents e.g. gestation, approach opposite sex stranger and
protection, care and feeding is taken into asked one of 3 questions. 96 participants
consideration and not just their gametes. were asked. No women agreed to have
This theory suggests that when the amount sex with the confederate, whereas ¾ men
of energy that each sex must devote to readily consented. The lower acceptance
reproduction and parental care is of women was due to women's fear for
different, the sex with the greater burden their safety. 50% of women agreed to a
will be the choosier e.g. fur seals are date.
selective when choosing a mate and go to These findings demonstrate that females
great lengths to find the right mate to travel are somewhat more choosy than men
long distances with. when it comes sex.
Cichlid fish: The weight of the female is
positively correlated with the number of
eggs spawned. Given a choice, male
cichlids prefer larger females. When
males are not able to fertilise many
females, they tend to be the choosier sex.
Orbweaving spiders: Males show a
preference for large spiders. A male
spider will find an immature female and
guard her from other males until she
reaches sexual maturity to be the first one
to mate with her.
Belsky: claims that childhood experiences
such as parental divorce tend to correlate
with the degree to which men invest in the
upbringing and care of their own children.
Attitudes towards sex have changed.

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Relationships, Sheet 4 08.04.2014
Aspects of human behaviour can cause
difficulties e.g. how can evolutionary
explanations account for women having
Most evidence comes from
surveys/statistics of lower animal species.
These methods are problematic and often
not very scientific.
Generating universal rules of behaviour
from such evidence is flawed science.…read more


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