Evaluation of evolutionary explanations of relationships

  • Created by: Saf54
  • Created on: 13-02-19 18:00

weakness of research support

-Psychologists claim that women universally prefer high status and well resourced men.

-This claim came from studies that were carried out on undergraduate students.

-These women were expected to achieve a Hugh education status so these preferences could have come from similar interests and prospects.

-Research into evolutionary explanations lacks validity as it measures expressed partner preferences instead of real ones.

-It uses a retrospective approach where it could have been evolutionary adaptive for our ancestors but doesn’t match now.

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Evolutionary explanations ignore social and cultur

-Western societies have changed in terms of women’s independence and gender equality.

-Women in more modern western societies aren’t always looking for men with resources.

-Kasser & Sharma (1999) analysed 37 cultures and found that women valued men with resources if their access to education and the workplace was limited.

-This makes evolutionary explanations limited as it only explains mate choice in terms of evolutionary adaptiveness ignoring social norms and culture.

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Mate choice can be more complicated

-Penton Voak et al (1999) suggests females preferences change across the menstrual cycle.

-Females prefer a partner with strongly expressed masculine features during their fertile period but showed more preference to a guy with more feminised features as a long term mate.

-This could occur as masculine features represent a healthier immune system which would be advantageous to offspring.

-Slightly feminised features suggest kindness and parental cooperation which are desirable traits in a long term partner.

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Evolutionary reductionism

-Argue strategies for choosing a mate are down to genetic inheritance and wanting reproductive success.

-Individual differences in partners choice plays a huge role.

-Fails to account for homosexual relationship where it doesn’t result in reproductive success so has no evolutionary advantage.

-There’s also determinism as they claim choice strategies are down to gender and that humans are attracted to people who will provide/care for offspring.

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Evolutionary explanations has alpha bias

-Emphasises the difference between what male and females look for in a partner (alpha bias)

-You could argue that males and females look for similar characteristics such as loyalty and kindness which isn’t reported in the research.

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