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Evolutionary Behavior: Female Mate Preferences

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Why are women more selective with their mate choices?

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Solution Summary

This job discusses gender differences within evolutionary accounts of human behaviour.

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How do accounts from Evolutionary Psychology explain mate selection in women?

? What are evolutional accounts of human behaviour
? Why do women have to be selective
? What do women seek?
- Economic resources
- Good financial prospects
- High school status / ambition
- Older men
- Athletic / good health
- Willingness to invest
? Summary

What are evolutionary accounts of human behaviour?

The main assumption of evolutionary psychology is that traits and adaptions from our ancestors in hunter-gatherer societies have been passed on. Within the context of romantic relationships Buss (1989) suggests that;

'Modern humans have inherited a specific set of mate preferences.'

Sex is the engine of evolution, allowing the passing on of genes from generation to generation, thus evolutionary psychologists have focused on aspects of sexual behaviour and sexual selection. Sexual selection and behaviour vary enormously between individuals and societies, yet scientists that study the effects of evolution on human behaviour have found that beneath the variation there exists a firm set of biological constraints.

Why do women have to be selective?

Men produce millions of sperm and keep producing sperm into old age. Women on the other hand produce a fixed and unreplenishable amount of ova. Women once pregnant also carry the offspring for nine months and after the child is born partake in the activity of lactation (this can last for up to 4 years in some cultures).

Women in our evolutionary past risked becoming pregnant from sexual intercourse, and even though modern birth control technology has altered this risk, human sexual psychology evolved over millions of years to cope with such problems. This means that human's still poses this underlying sexual psychology, even though the current environment that changed.

Trivers (1972) in his 'theory of parental investment' suggests that the sex that invests more in the offspring (in humans this is the female) will be more discriminating or ...

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