The parental investment theory for gender development

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What does parental investment mean?
Parental investment means anything that parents do that increases the chances that their offpsring will survive and reproduce.
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What is the minimum investment required of males?
Simply the time it takes for them to get the female pregnant.
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What is the minimum investment required of females?
The 9 months of pregnancy
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Who has more vested interest in the childcare and why?
Females, during 9 months a male can reproduce many times whereas as women have less opportunity to reproduce and therefore take more time ensuring their child survives.
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What are the three gender roles affected by this theory?
Parental care, mate selection and sexual jealousy
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How does this theory explain sexual jealousy between partners?
It suggests that because the women can be sure the child is theirs it is more adaptive for them to spend more time and energy on the child care whereas men can never be sure when a child is theirs and so are more likely to be unfaithful.
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Why is this theory socially sensitive?
it suggests that evolution expects men to be unfaithful partners, that it is in their genes to do so. it also suggests that women are the sole child carers when in todays society men play an equally important role in raising the child.
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What is one piece of supporting research?
Buss - found that men valued attractiveness more than women who valued good earning power. it demonstrates that women look for good resources during mate selection. earning power = hunter gatherer thousands of years ago.
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What makes Buss's study so strong?
it was conducted over many cultures and the results were consistent across those cultures. therefore the results were a culturual universal.
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What is the main flaw in Buss's study (AO3)
Buss could not test how much men and women valued these traits thousands of years ago, therefore he could not test the theory completely as that would involve going back in time to test the behaviour.
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What are the good aspects of the theory? (Wider evaluation)
the theory has a logical structure, there is abundant supporting research - one being a cultural universal.
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Why is the theory reductionist? (Wider evaluation)
because surely there is more to gender than simply evolution. it is a complex phenomenon and therefore factors such as social development should be considered.
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What is one negative implication of the theory? (Wider evaluation)
people could use the approach as an excuse for their infidelity, also the behaviours in the theory dont make sense within our society, evolution is slow and so we are not evolved for our current society.
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Card 2

Front

What is the minimum investment required of males?

Back

Simply the time it takes for them to get the female pregnant.

Card 3

Front

What is the minimum investment required of females?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Who has more vested interest in the childcare and why?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What are the three gender roles affected by this theory?

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