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  • Created by: alwilton
  • Created on: 08-05-13 21:21

Sexual Selection and Reproductive Behaviour - AO1

The Nature of Sexual Selection.

  • Intrasexual- Members of one sex competing for members of the opposite sex. What genes win will be passed on.
  • Intersexual- Preference of one sex over the others based on their characteristics. If females prefered tall males there would be an increase in tall offsprings.
  • Short term mating preference- Males evolved greater desire for casual sex. Over 1 year men could impregnate many women however women could only carry one child.
  • Males lower attraction for sex then decrease likeness post-sex.
  • Long term mating preference- Both sexes invest heavily in offspring, poor mate choice could be costly in genes of offspring.
  • Women are attracted to males who invest heavily in children and show good parenting.
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Sexual Selection and Reproductive behaviour - AO2

The nature of Sexual Selection.

  • Research Support.
  • The logic of of sexual selection makes sense, the cost of a low quality males would mean low quality genes for the offspring.
  • Women can choose different men on different stages of their menstural cycle. At the highest point of conception women choose a more masculine man for short term relationship but choose a more feminised man for long term relationship. Choosing a more feminine man for long term can suggest care, and kindness whereas a male for short term suggests more chance for conception.
  • Males have a preference for younger women links to sexual selection because younger women are more fertile. However the social aspect is younger women are easier to control and easier influenced.
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Sexual Selection and Reproductive Behaviour - AO3

  • Mate choices in real life- Theres a question as to whether males do go for younger females. It was confirmed that when men divorce and remarry they tend to go for a younger female. (Buss)
  • Importance of fertility- Women give out chemical/visual signs of being sexually receptive. A study of femal lap dancers and the nearer to the firtile point gained twice value of tips than the females who werent.
  • Short term mating- A study showed that 50% of women who were approached randomly aggreed to a date, 6% aggreed to go back to their appartment and 0% aggreed to sex. However males 50% aggreed to date, 69% aggreed to go to their appartment and 75% aggreed to sex. This shows that males have evolved psychological mechanisms to ensure short term mating.
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment - AO1

Maternal Investment.

  • Greater investment made by females can be explained by parental certainty. Women can be 100% sure the child is theirs because they carry them in the womb for 9 months.
  • Due to an enlarged skull childbirth is more difficult for humans however compared to non-humans infants are born relatively immature.
  • Women invest post-birth by breastfeeding and the fact they cant leave their young and so they contribute a greater amoung of resources.
  • Men contribute a little copulation and a teaspoon of semen.
  • This shows that it can be costly for women to have a short term relationship because it could mean they would be single handly looking after a child.
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment - AO2

Maternal Investment. 

  • Research Support.
  • Women want the best genes for their offspring so they marry a male with good resources but shop around for the best available genes. As many as 14% of the population come from an extra marital affair.
  • A benefit of cuckoldry is that women could receive additional support for example higher quality genes. However a risk of cuckoldry is that if the care giver finds out they could risk abandonment and or violence to them or the child.
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment. - AO1

Paternal Investment.

  • Males can have potentially an unlimited number of offspring as they only have the task of fertilisation and is less costly for them than it is women.
  • However men do run the risk of cuckoldry which is where a man invests in a child which isnt his.
  • As a result males have to ensure that there care is not misdirected towards non-relatives.
  • A man whose mate was unfaithfull runs the risk of investing in a child of someone elses genes.
  • A women whose mate was unfaithfull runs the risk of the diversion of resources away from her family.
  • Males are more jealous of the sexual act.
  • Women are more jealous of the emotional shift of focus.
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment - AO2

Paternal Investment.

  • Research Contradictions.
  • Paternal behaviour depends on social and personal conditions (Rowe). It also relied on childhood experiences such as a parental divorce/violence & abuse. (Belsky)
  • Male students found a bigger concern in the sexual infedelity side of jealousy however women were more concerned about the emotional side and the shift of effection. (Buss)
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Sex Differences in Parental Investment - AO3

  • Evolutionary explanations are reductionist- Evolutionary explanations only take into consideration the evolutionary side of the argument they dont take any others into account such as society, personal experiences and past experiences. This makes the explanation limited.
  • Paternal Investment by non-human animals- In both chimpanzees and bonobos the males show no or little investment in the offspring. This suggests a huge evolutionary change.
  • Are males less prepared to invest?- 91 non-parent undergraduate by giving them questions about parenting. Even though there was little difference between the scale of answers men showed increased heart rate ans stress levels.


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