Parental investment

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Psychology unit 3 relationships
Parental investment
Description
Parental investment is anything that increases survival chances of offspring at the
cost of the adult. The huge differences in parental investment cause big
differences in reproductive and parental behaviour between genders. Females do
more parental investment due to pregnancy, breast feeding and prolonged
immaturity as the child needs to be cared for well into their teen years due to the
human brain being large meaning a child is born prematurely, before the brain is
fully developed. Therefore females are more choosy in their choice of partner as
there are more costs involved for them as the paternal investment much be
worthwhile. Males have less parental investment as they want as may reproductive
partners as possible to increase chances of their genes getting onto the next
generation but also due to parental uncertainty as they don't want to invest
resources into someone else's child.
Evaluation
Men shouldn't invest but they do to increase survival of offspring
75% of relationships are monogamous so men do have long term relationships and
don't try to have as many partners as possible.
Evidence from male chimpanzees and bonobos shows they don't use any parental
investment which does support the theory, however there are issues with
generalising this to humans as human males do invest so the investment must be due
to either rapid evolution or culture.
Gehr studied 91 undergraduates and found that when presented with scenarios
involving parental investment or told to imagine similar scenarios such as taking
time off work, men were most stressed with this suggesting they aren't meant to
invest and women are. This supports the evolutionary explanation.
Description- cuckoldry
Investing in another person's children without being aware of it. Therefore
parental uncertainty results in males using behaviours to ensure females remain
loyal such as direct guarding and negative inducements as males want to use their
resources for their own children.
Evaluation
Anderson found that men pay just as much attention to step children as they do
to their own children so this undermines the idea that parental investment leads to
jealousy causing direct guarding and negative inducements.

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Psychology unit 3 relationships
Daly and Wilson found children under age 2 were 60 times more likely to be
killed by their stepfather than their biological father. This supports the theory,
however in reality most fathers don't kill their stepchildren and the parental
investment theory can't explain this.
Buss used questionnaire and found gender differences for jealousy. Men worried
about sexual infidelity but women were concerned about emotional/ resource
infidelity.…read more

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