PSYA3 Gender - Evolutionary Explanations

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  • Created by: emilyleah
  • Created on: 04-07-13 17:25

Evolutionary Explanations of Gender Roles


Division of Labour
- man = hunting
- woman = staying at home

- Role division may have evolved due to women spending half their adult life rearing children. If a woman hunted it would reduce reproductive success

- Kuhn + Stiner (2006) gender division of labour may explain why humans survived, whereas the Neanderthals did not.
- Neanderthal diet mainly animals both men+women hunted
- Were large so needed a lot of food so unsuccessful hunting = starvation
- more adaptive division of labour evolved in humans but not Neanderthals

Mate Choice
- many gender role behaviours related to reproductive strategies

- men = attracted to partner physically
- women = partner who can provide resources (seen in Buss’ 37 culture study)

- Evolutionary explanations relate to why males + females maximise reproductive success

- gender role differences = men look for physical attractiveness and women seek to enhance physical attractiveness and want men who are wealthy + powerful



Mate Choice: Waynforth + Dunbar (1995)
- personal ads to assess what men+women were seeking and also what they advertised
- results as predicted, 44% of males sought a physically attractive partner compared


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