Parental Investment - Psychological study of Relationships

Trivers (1972) defined parental investment as anything a parent does for their offspring to increase the chances of that offsprings survival. This is at the expence of being unable to invest in any other offspring at the same time. 

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  • Created by: Marg
  • Created on: 18-04-14 13:56

1. What did the psychologists Baker and Bellis (1990) discover? (AO2)

  • Males are more jealous of physical adultery where as women are more jealous of emotional adultery and concludes that sexual jealousy has evolved over time as a way of preventing cuckoldry
  • Men would not discriminate against paying for their biological children and their step-children's collage education
  • Using the a magazine survey completed by 2700 UK women estimated 14% of children in the UK are the result of extra-marital affairs and cuckoldry
  • 91 childless undergrads reported (no gender differences) they felt ready to become parents but measured their physiological responses males showed significantly increased heart-rate suggesting they're biologically less prepared than females
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2. What is the Extent of Prenatal Male Investment?

  • Males invest a lot into keeping his child safe and fed but still invest less than their female counterpart
  • Males don't invest prenatally at all as the woman alone carries the foetus in her womb
  • The male doesn't invest as much as females, just a few moments of copulation
  • Men can have an unlimited number of offspring so invest a lot

3. Why do Males Invest Less as Parents than Women?

  • Men are less competent with handling children as didn't carry the child prenatally but was biologically forced to be separate from them
  • Children prefer their mothers
  • Males could never have been totally sure they haven't been cuckolded unlike women who are
  • Men are more selfish in sharing their resources than women

4. Why do Human Mothers Invest More Postnatally?

  • The human brain has evolved to triple its size over the last 2 thousand years
  • So male partners will provide food, security and shelter
  • To increase both their own survival and the survival of their genes in the gene pool as their children will more likely reproduce if alive and therefore they breastfeed etc.
  • Childbirth is very dangerous (only with reccent modern technology women stand a really good chance of survival)

5. What did psychologist Gehre et al. (2007) discover? (AO2)

  • 91 childless undergrads reported (no gender differences) they felt ready to become parents but measured their physiological responses males showed significantly increased heart-rate suggesting they're biologically less prepared than females
  • Males are more jealous of physical adultery where as women are more jealous of emotional adultery and concludes that sexual jealousy has evolved over time as a way of preventing cuckoldry
  • Men would not discriminate against paying for their biological children and their step-children's collage education
  • Using the a magazine survey completed by 2700 UK women estimated 14% of children in the UK are the result of extra-marital affairs and cuckoldry

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