Buss (1989) - sex differences in human mate preferences.

WJEC PY2 AS level psychology

Buss Core study

1) Context and aims

2) procedures

3) findings & conclusions

4) methodology

5) alternative evidence.

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Paigeee
  • Created on: 03-06-11 10:02

context - 1

3 possible arguments which predict particular sex differences in mate preference:

1) Predictions based on parental investment and sexual selection theory

- Females invest more time & energy into reproduction.

- men can invest just a few minutes to impregnate a woman.

- The woman then carries the child and takes majority of the responsibility of       bringing up the child.

- Women invest more into reproduction, meaning they will be more fussier in their mate choice.

-It also means womens selection of men should be influenced by their ability to contribute to childrearing.

- this theory suggests women will faour ambitious, hardworking, rich men who are most likely to be able to look after them and their children.

1 of 7

context - 2

2) predictions based on reproductive value and fertility.

- Youthfulness would be a sign of both fertility and reproductive value.

- This could be signalled by physical characteristics, such as; Smooth skin, good muscle tone and full lips.

- Males who fail to select females with such characteristics would, on average, leave fewer offspring than those who select females with such characteristics.

- This suggests that males, more than females, with value youth and physical attractiveness in potential mates.

2 of 7

context - 3

3) prediction based on paternity probablity.

- Sexual jealousy is a means of increasing paternity probability.

- It functions to 'guard' their mate and dissuade male competitiors.

- Another mechanism of paternity probability is preference for chastity.

- males who prefer chaste females presumably enjoyed greater reproductive success.

- Females have less need for chastity because they are more certain of their parenthood.

- However, if males have had many sexual experiences, they may find themselves sharing their resources between a number of females.

- so chastity may also be important for females.

3 of 7


Aimed to investigate if evolutionary explanations for sex differences in human mate preferences are found in cultures with varying ecologies, location, ethnicity, religious orientations and political inclinations.

4 of 7

Procedures -1

- This was a survey of mate preferences in a number of countries.

- A Questionnaire was used to gather information

- 37 samples were taken from 33 countries, located on 6 continents and 5 islands.

- Total number of 10,047 participants.

- samples varied in size from 55 in Iran and 1,491 in America (mainland)

- Mean sample size = 272 participants

- mean age of overall sample = 23.05 years old.

- In countries were there was more than one ethnic group, resulted in more than one sample being taken. (e.g. In Canada, they took a sample of french and english speakers)

5 of 7

Procedures - 2

Sampling Techniques varied across the different countries:

West germany = Newspaper advertisement.

New Zealand = High school student taken from 3 schools.

Estonia = Couples applying for a marriage license and high school students.

Occasionally, the questionnaire had to be altered to reflect the cultural differences.

In Nigeria, polygamy is practiced, so questions had to be added to reflect the possibility of multiple wives, while few couples marry in sweden and just prefer to live together

6 of 7

Procedures - 3

Questionnaire consisted of 2 measuring instruments.

The first instrument was in 3 sections:

1- Biographical data

2- Information at the age which respondent preferred to marry, age difference, whom the respondent preferred to be older and how many children they desired.

3- a 4 point rating scale from 3 (very important) to 0 (unimportant) and they had to rate 18 characteristics.

Not yet finished.

7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Gender resources »