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Sexual Selection
Relationships ­ Topic 4…read more

Slide 2

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Inter + Intra Sexual Selection AO1
Darwin (1874) believed that reproductive success is at the heart of the
evolutionary process and this is why sexual selection was adapted. He
suggested that there are two processes of sexual selection:
Intrasexual selection Intersexual selection
· Members of a sex compete · Members of one sex look for members of the other
against each other for access sex with certain qualities.
to members of the opposite · This determines what the opposite sex compete
sex against
· Victors are able to mate and · It involves looking for traits that can be passed on
pass on their genes to their offspring as well as look for the mate to be
· Whatever traits lead to able to support and protect the offspring
success in the same sex · Humans are pre-programmed to look for these
contests is passed on. things and will be more willing to mate with an
individual with these traits…read more

Slide 3

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Short term and Long term mating
preferences AO1
Short term mating preferences Long Term mating preferences
· According to parental investment theory: · In long term mating:
· Men have a greater desire for casual sex · Both sexes invest heavily in their offspring
· Men have a greater desire for sex earlier in the · Both sexes are choosy because a poor choice
relationship could lead to a waste of resources
· Females don't have these evolutionary pressures · Women biologically have to invest a lot in their
child so they're very particular in their choice of
· This is because men can impregnate lots of mate.
women during a year
· a female who has mated with the exact same · Buss (2003)
number of men would only be able to have one
child in that time period · Women want someone who:
· Has resources to invest
· The more women a man impregnates, the more
times his DNA is passed on · Can protect her and her child
· Can be a good parent
· Buss and Schmidt (1993) · Who is compatible with her so that there is a
minimal cost to her
· Men lower their standards for short term mating
opportunities · Men don't easily give resources away. They're...
· Attraction decreases after sex · Most attracted to females who show signs of
fertility which is why men tend to go for younger
· This happens so that men depart quickly rather women
than spending valuable time with one woman · Also looking for the same attributes that women
when they could be impregnating others. look for…read more

Slide 4

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Short Term mating strategies AO2
Evidence for short term mating preferences comes from Clarke and Hatfield
· They investigated the sex differences in short term mating preferences and
found that:
· The same # of both genders would agree to go on a date
· 10x more males were willing to go to the female experimenters apartment
· Three quarters of the male participants agreed to have sex with the experimenter
· No females agreed to have sex with the experimenter
This supports the idea that men have evolved to ensure success in short term mating
as they're happy to have sex with women they don't know and don't wait long before
seeking sex.…read more

Slide 5

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Long term mating preferences AO2
· Buss (1989) provides support for the sex differences in long term mate
· He looked at 37 different cultures and found:
· Women desired men with resources or ambition (which would lead to resources)
· Men looked for physical attractiveness
· Men wanted mates who were younger than them because they're more fertile
· Both sexes wanted a mate who was intelligent, kind and dependable
This supports the idea that both men and women are very selective when choosing a
long term mate. It also shows that men look for fertile women with good parenting
skills whilst women look for men who can provide for their children and who also has
the potential to be a good parent.…read more

Slide 6

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Mate choice and the menstrual
cycle AO2
Penton-Voak et al (1999) ­ female mate choice changes across the menstrual cycle
· Women chose a feminized male face as most attractive for a long term relationships
· Women chose a more masculinized face for a short term sexual relationship when
women were in the high conception phase of their menstrual cycle
· This is because a more feminized face suggests kindness and cooperation in parental
· A more masculine face suggests high testosterone levels
· High testosterone suppresses the immune system so for a male to still be healthy despite
high testosterone levels they must have a very capable immune system
· This is a valuable characteristic to pass on to offspring
This provides an explanation for why female mate choices can change in different
phases of the menstrual cycle.…read more

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