Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour

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  • Created by: Emilia
  • Created on: 15-05-16 14:28
What is sexual selection based upon?
Darwin's theory that certain traits that make survival more likely for an organism to survive and reproduce successfully are inherited from one generation to the next.
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What does Intrasexual selection mean?
Males must compete with other males to ensure female access - those who don't win can't pass on genes and die out (survival of the fittest)
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What does Intersexual selection mean?
Females look for certain traits in males and only reproduce with males who have this trait.
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Why do women have to be more choosy?
They can only have a child every 9 months so they have higher costs associated with each pregnancy.
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What are the 3 things males look for?
Youth, 0.7 waist-hip ratio, and fertility (which the former two imply)
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Who conducted research into what males look for and what did they find?
Buss - found that men place more emphasis on physical attractiveness and desired a younger partner.
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Who conducted research into the 0.7 waist-hip ratio and what did they do/find?
Streeter and Burney showed men photos of women with photoshopped waists, men generally found waist-hip ratio of 0.7 attractive (as an indicator of fertility)
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Which research found that men prefer to have lots of casual sex in order to enhance chances of reproductive success?
Clark and Hatfield - 75% of men agreed to have sex with a stranger while 0% of women agreed.
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What can this be linked to?
Intrasexual selection - males competing within their sex to have sex with as many women as possible.
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What do females look for according to Buss?
Men with resources who can offer protection (plus ambition and intelligence as this will allow them to obtain resources.
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Who found that women are attracted to more masculine features, for example, a strong jawline?
Grammer and Thornhill.
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What did Penton-Voak et al find?
Female desires vary across the menstrual cycle- preferring masculine men when most fertile & feminine men when less fertile.
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Why are females more likely to have long term relationships?
Each fertilisation carries lots of costs so the female needs high levels or protection in order to invest in their child after birth. They are less likely to get involved in short term mating as they need a man to provide resources for them.
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How can this be linked to intersexual selection?
Females must be more choosy in order to have sex with a mate who has the desirable trait and can provide resources.
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Why is this theory deterministic?
It suggests that we only have relationships to reproduce but we can exercise our free will and have relationship with someone who's infertile or doesn't want children.
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What are the gender differences?
Men do commit to long term relationships and invest care and resources into their children. Females sometimes pursue short term relationships.
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Why does Buss suggest that short term mating may be beneficial for females?
Possibility of producing better quality/more diverse offspring. Alternatively, short term mating can be used to exit a poor quality relationship.
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What are the similarities in male and female sexual selection according to Buss?
They both look for kindness, intelligence and dependency.
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Name a methodological criticism of Buss's research
The sampling method in each country varied and therefore cannot be viewed as representative (rural and uneducated population ignored).
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What is a positive of the sampling techniques used?
Using a variety increases generalisability of consistent results that emerge by minimizing the bias of one sampling procedure.
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What is an issue with the evolutionary approach as a whole?
It's unfalsifiable as it cannot be disproved or tested empirically (Popper)
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Card 2

Front

What does Intrasexual selection mean?

Back

Males must compete with other males to ensure female access - those who don't win can't pass on genes and die out (survival of the fittest)

Card 3

Front

What does Intersexual selection mean?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why do women have to be more choosy?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are the 3 things males look for?

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