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  • Created on: 11-05-17 13:50

Buss (1989) Mate preferences across 37 cultures

He found that two consistent sex differences emerged. 

Men place greater emphasis on physical attraction.

Women place greater emphasis on earning capacity, they seek a potential mate who can provide good resources for them and their future children. 

Men are physically attracted to women as these are cues to youthfulness, fertility that will provide reproductive success. 

Men prefer mates with clear, unblemished skin, clear eyes, lustrious hair, fuller lips, good muscle tone and energetic behaviour.

These are sexual strategies in order to increase genetic fitness in both men and women. 

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Parental investment: Triver's (1972)

Females have more parental investment than males and are therefore more selective about who they mate with. There is a lot of investment with carrying the child for 9 months, then nurtuting and breast-feeding which requires a lot of time and resources. 

Women cannot make the mistake of mating with someone who is not going to invest at all and has poor quality genes as this would be costly for them. 

Males can impregnate numerous women in the time of a year however women can only produce one child unless twins. 

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Supporting evidence: evolutionary viewpoint

Schmitt et al (2001) found that men reported higher number of sex partners over their lifetime, men reported 14 and women reported 2. 

They aslo asked participants how long would you have to know someone you view as desirable before having sexual intercourse with them?

Men reported 1 week and women reported 6 months.

Men have a permissive attitude towards casual sex

However, this study is old, views may have changed and all participants were westerners. 

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Supporting evidence: evolutionary viewpoint

Clark and Hatfield: an attracttive confederate walked up to students of the opposite sex on a university campus.

They asked: would you go on a date with me? Would you come back to my apartment? Would you go to bed with me tonight?

Male participants 69% accepted going back to their apartment, 3% of women

Male participants 72% accepted causal sex, 0% of women

Men and women were equally accepting to going on a date. 

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Social structural theory: Eagly and Wood (1999)

Social constructionist explanation of gender differences in mate preferences:

From their social constructionist perspective, they go back to the gender division of labour and they think this is what is responsible for different mate preferences and role expectations for men and women. 

Men accomodate roles; assertiveness to reach high status leadership jobs, resource providers.

Women's role lower status and traits are more submissive rather than dominant.

Women are expected to be compliant, housewives, homemakers, mother to their children. 

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Social structural theory: reinterpreted Buss' mate

They looked at the differences in age preferences

Men prefer younger women to maintain the power differential not that it is linked to signals of fertility and reproductive success.

Men seek and find attractive younger women as it maintains their dominance and higher status role leaving the women to maintain a submissive role. 

Women prefer wealthir men to obtain resources, this is because women need the resources, money as they live in a society that regards women having lower status, gender pay gap and cannot attain high paying jobs as easily as men. 

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Eagly and Wood:

Found that with increasing gender equality, men were less likley to prefer younger women. 

Women were less likely to prefer mates with greater earning potential

Men still placed high preference on physical looks

As gender equality improves, mate preferences DIFFER! 

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Partial evidence for social contractual theory

As women gain more control over financial power, preference is stronger for physical attractive mates. 

When women do not have physical resources they seek mates that can provide money, financial stability. 

When women have their own financial stabiility they do not need a mate to rely on and no longer see this as a quality to find in a mate. 

Older men remained a preference referred to as the George Clooney effect. 

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Critique of the social structural theory

Archer argued that the social structural theory is not adequate in explaining gender differences and mating choices for high status females they still prefer high status males. 

Buss cultural study found that gender differences in mate preferences remained significant across all 37 cultures. Even in the most egalitarian cultures, women preferred wealth and men preferred beauty and youthfulness. 

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Femme Fatales and Status Fatales

Female fatale 'deadly women' it refers to when women use their looks to dominate men. Emphasis on looks is consistent with Buss' 37 culture study that men are attracted to **** partners. 

Status fatale when a man uses his high status to attract and manipulate women. Less emphasis on physical appearance andmore on his status, power and wealth, this is consistent with Buss' findings that women prefer men of wealth and status and seek older men as they meet these preferences. 

Jankowiak & Ramsey (2000) : They examined 78 cultures, universal motifs in Folklore, these are concerns of the cultures, whether women being dominant through their looks, men using their status, women being victimised. They found that the female fatale was universal and present in 94% of cultures. Male emphasis on female appearance nearly universal. Status fatale was 50% universal, no female status fatale was not universal. Male beauty fatale was 26% of cultures located in Africa where there is high pathogen levels. Story of a woman who suffered after being involved with a physical attractive male. 

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Courtship across cultures: first date scripts

Cultural scripts guide courtship and sexuality. Typical first date in American culture follows traditional gender roles. Men would initiate the date, physical and sexual contact and pay for the date.

Women tend to be more passive and reactive saying yes or no. Similar script among Hispanic American adults.  

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Romantic love across cultures: is romantic love un

Evolutionary perspective argues that romantic love facilitates pair bonding which enables reproduction. Romantic love and intimacy also derived from an evolved need to belong, form attachments to others, strength in numbers of friends increases survival, it protects them from enemies, resource provider, hunting partner. 

We have this innate need to form an attachment with a romantic partner. 

Jankowiak & Fischer (1992): Tested whether romantic love was universal across cultures. 166 tribal socities were examined and they found that romantic  folklore was present in 90% of societies. Romantic love is near-universal. Buss (1989) most preferred attribute across cultures is mutual attraction, love. 

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Relativist view: the cultural grounding of romanti

Wu and Shaver (1992) 

They looked at conceptions of romantic love in Americans, Italians and Chinese cultures. Americans and Italians view love as happiness. 

Chinese viewed love as sadness, jealousy, betrayal. They associated love very negatively. 

Researchers then looked at the Chinese cultural revolution in 1966 run by the state. At this time, Chinese people experienced forbidden love, this could be why love is associated with sadness. 

Chinese people also have less personal choice in mate selection. Chinese people need family approval as it is important. 

Americans and Italians have more control and choice over who they mate with. This reflects collectivist cultures, putting the groups wishes and expectations, desires before their own. Subordinate your own wishes and meeting the expectations of what parents want rather than what the individual wants. They do not want to let down the in-group or disappoint or bring shame or betryal to the family. 

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Influence of familial concerns on romantic love

Hsu (1981) North Americans ask WHAT DOES MY HEART SAY? whereas Chinese people would ask WHAT WILL MY FAMILY SAY/THINK?

Love is seen as disruptive to the traditional family and requires loyalty to the family as being romantic with someone who is not accepted by the family may cause a negative social reputation and other families would shun them. 

MacDonald and Jessica (2006) Indonesians withdrew from romantic partner if they felt that family did not hold them in high regard. They would withdraw love and commitment in respect of the family's view they would hold back their feelings as it is more functional and protective. 

This is self-protection, they get out of the relationship early as possible before it gets too deep and saves a heart break if the parents would not accept marriage. 

Australians withdrew if they felt the partner did not hold them in high regard. They did not care for family opinions and did not affect intimacy or commitment. 

This suggests that family approval carries a lot more weight in collectivistic cultures, family influences and places a big role on romantic love, intimacy and commitment. 

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Influence on economic concerns on romantic love

Levine et al asked participants from different cultures 'would you marry someone who had a lot of qualities you look for in a mate, but you were not in love with them?' 

They found that Indians, Pakistani, Thai's = Yes

They found that Westerners, Japanese, Hong Kong, chinese = No

Not just an individualistic collectivistic difference, it is related to economic development, must be financially pragmatic in poorer countries 

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Intimacy across cultures

Intimacy is a dynamic transaction of partner's self-disclosures and responsiveness. 

Reis and Shaver: interpersonal process model of intimacy

Partner A kicks starts the process through self-disclosure, you tell someone something that is private, personal, emotionally meaningful to you.

Partner B is then responsive, are they a good listener, do they ask questions?

Partner A feels understood, validated, cared for

If they do, partner A will self-disclose again resulting in a feedback look. There are individual differences due to personality. 

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Conceptualisations of intimacy: Self-disclosure

Canadians conceptualised intimacy as a means being able to be fully honest and open with one another without feeling there would be repercussions if you were to tell your partner something they may not really life to hear. 

Japanese reported intimacy as being together, to share thought 

They seem to hold back compared to Canadians who are willing to be open

Japanese stated that for me, intimate characteristic in the relationship of romantic love does not mean confessing everything, it means being connected more at internal depth. 

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Conceptualisations of intimacy: Responsiveness

Canadians being open to listening to your partner's thoughts with empathy and a willingness to help your partner. 

Japanse you have relied on each other mutually, you understand each other and make the partner mutually important. 

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Intimacy & Independent/Interdependent self-constru

Intimacy is higher in independent cultures. Intimacy needs are focused on the romantic partner. Westerners encourage you to find a future partner, this future partner will become your best friend, attachment figure, romantic love and intimacy is seen as an antidote of alienation and isolation and social bond in individualistic cultures. Western relationship place huge emphasis on intimacy,

Interdependent cultures, intimacy needs satisfied by family members and friends diffused rather than focused on only the romantic partner. 

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Expressive individualism

This is the need to explore, enhance and express the inner intimacy and self-disclosure is connected with individualistic cultures as the individualistic and independent self, feel the need to express, promote and advertise their inner attributes and therefore the cultural value is shown in intimacy, the need to be open with their partner. 

Expressive individualism is more salient for people with an independent self, encouraging intimacy. 

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Intimacy and gender role traditionalism

Traditional men are low in self-disclosure, they are not open with feelings and do not express themselves as it would be viewed as feminine and not dominant. 

Traditional women are self-silencing they won't express their inner thoughts, or complaints as they keep it to themselves in order to keep the peace, maintaining harmony and not disrupting the romantic relationship

Cultures that encourage traditionalism is less in self-disclosure and less intimacy, compared to egalitarian cultures they report more intimacy in relationships. 

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Does interdependence enhance responsiveness?

Confucian emphasises kind, reciprocal, sympathetic social relations. Other directed rather than self-directed. 

Adams et al (2004) fulfiling obligations in interdependent Ghanaian culture is a form of responsiveness that can increase closeness. 

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Self-contained individualism

Extreme self-reliance and need for autonomy. 

Dion and Dion: Self-contained individualists experienced love less frequently and intensely. Less emotional involvement with their partner.

Dion and Dion also found that Ambivalence towards intimacy in Western cultures, there is a fear of dependence. 

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Relationship standards and satisfaction across cul

Hiew examined relationship standards in Australian and Chinese couples.

They found that Australian couples higher in couple bond (intimacy, love, caring) but lower in family responsibility (connection with family, traidtional gender roles) than Chinese couples. 

This study found that if you have high couple bond and lower family responsibility it results in higher relationship satisfaction 

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Arranged marriages

Parental influence on mate choice in collectivistic cultures: 

Parental influence on mate choice is higher in collectivistic cultures. Subordinating one's own wishes to the wishes of one's family. 

In India 90% of marriages are arranged. Indian immigrants in America 50% of marriages are arranged. 

Non-westerners rely on arranged marriage whereas westerners place emphasis on freedom of choice and independence in marriages

Collectivists believe that parents know best and are usually the matchmakers. The children do not have much power or say and parents will arrange meetings with potential mates. 

They know each other somewhat before the wedding. 

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Advantages and Disadvantages of arranged marriages

Advantage: can foster on economic alliance between families, uniting two families. 

Advantage: Rational choice of partner, based on long-term compatability rather than a temporary infatuation. Lower divorce rates. 

Disadvantage: loveless, forced marriage. 

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Parental influence on mate choice in individualist

Romantic love is the basis for mate choice in individualistic cultures. They follow their own wishes and desires. Virtually no European American marriages are arranged.

Romeo and Juliet effect: parental interference in a relationship intensifies romantic love and commitment however lack of modern studies. 

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Social network effect

Disapproval of a relationship by members of one's social network weakens love and commitment and increases the likelihood of breaking up. Social network effect should be stronger in collectivistic cultures. Family attitudes towards one's romantic partner more valued in collectivistic cultures. 

Family disapproval of the relationship is more strongly associated with poorer relationship quality in collectivistic culures such as Indonesia, Japan. 

Indians reported greater parental influence over mate choice, as a result they experience less passion/commitment in the relationship. 

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