The Sociobiological Theory Essay Plan / Notes

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  • Created on: 08-04-14 12:24
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Relationships, Sheet 2 08.04.2014
Outline and evaluate one or more theories of
the formation, maintenance and breakdown
of relationships (24m)
AO1: AO2:
Both males and females are seeking to Buss: analysed 9,000+ questionnaires
produce healthy offspring in order for their completed in 37cultures. Respondents
genes to survive into the next generation. The were asked to rate the importance of a
best situation for men is to impregnate as number of characteristics such as age
many women as possible in order to etc. in a sexual partner. They found that
increase their chances of passing on their males valued physical attractiveness
genes. However, the best chance of the whereas females valued earning
females genes being passed to the next potential. Both males and females felt
generation is to ensure the healthy survival of the male should be older.
her offspring.
Promiscuity for males is a way of increasing
their chances of reproducing, whereas
monogamy is a more appropriate strategy for
FORMATION: Singh: found that men are attracted to
Men seek to form relationships with women women with a low waisttohip ratio. A
with physical indicators of fertility, who show low WHR is not only considered
potential to produce strong, healthy offspring. feminine and the most attractive figure
Women look for men with good genes who shape, but it's also linked to higher
can provide for them and their potential conception rates.
MAINTENANCE: Montoya: found that both males and
Men must continue to provide for females were interested in body parts
women/child. They choose to remain predictive of health. Males preferred
monogamous and faithful. body parts predictive of fertility
Women must continue to furnish the male whereas females preferred body parts
with the opportunity to further his genetic line. predictive of strength.
Women may opt to provide as many children
as possible.
BREAKDOWN: Dunbar et al: found that childless men
If the man cannot offer good resources, the are on average shorter than those men
woman may begin to seek support with children and suggests that height
elsewhere. preference may therefore be
If woman refuses to provide children / can no programmed into women's genes.
longer reproduce, the man may become
promiscuous and damage relationships.
SBT is not testable as it cannot be
tested experimentally as we cannot
remove the evolutionary forces to see if
they are governing our choices or not.
The theory is deterministic and
reductionist because it suggests that

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Relationships, Sheet 2 08.04.2014
our behaviour is predetermined by our
genes and therefore we have a lack of
free will.
It assumes that attractiveness and
childbearing are linked. There may be
a correlation but a correlation does not
mean cause, so there's no certainty.
It also assumes that sexual
relationships are always concerned
with reproduction.…read more


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