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Lecture 13

Outline Lecture 13 Mating 2.odt

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PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

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Outline Lecture 13 Mating 2 1. Why Sexual Reproduction? - Red Queen Hypothesis: sexual reproduction to “outrun” parasites & pathogens 2. Adaptations for perceiving things as beautiful - Why be attracted to anything? - Direct & indirect benefits for mating with specific individuals 3. Choosing compatible genes - Preference for MHC dissimilarity (Major Histocompatibility Complex) 4. Influence of pathogens & parasites - Cues of health - The impact of pathogens on polygyny 5. How to detect quality? - Cues & indicators (e.g. symmetry) - Costly signals (e.g. testosterone) - Preferences for these traits increasing while ovulating If we have time: 6. How do these traits interact? Integrating different cues for different goals 7. Mate Choice Copying: imitating the choices of others who may have info you don’t have 8. Changes in female appearance and behaviour during ovulation 9. Altruism & attractiveness: do women really prefer “bad boys”, all else being equal? (If you’re interested in the topic, this article is also posted on my door and my website.) 1. why is there sexual reproduction? Why does any species reproduce sexually? -many species can reproduce asexually (plants, animals) -there are costs of sexual reproduction: -only pass on half of ones DNA -mate search and competition -STDs -what advantages could outweigh the costs of sexual reproduction? Coevolution Hypothesis (a.k.a The Red Queen Hypothesis): create diverse offspring to cope with an unpredictable biotic environment (e.g, parasites, diseases, predators) (parasites can evolve much faster to get past a hots' immune system, because these evolve so fast there must be another way to fight them off. “here, you see, it takes all the running you can do just to stay in the same place” Must keep co-evolving to stay ahead of the pathogens and parasites. If we stop running, they will take over because they've adapted to our immune system) -function of sexual reproduction arises from a need to adapt to pathogens & parasites 2. Physical attractiveness:Are Perceptions of BeautyArbitrary? -why are some individuals considered more attractive than others? Why be attracted to anything? -beauty is in theAdaptation of the beholder” - don symons -attractiveness is not just a feature of the stimulus, but also the perceiver -different species are attracted to different things -we find things attractive because they are cues of fitness relevant traits/characteristics (cues of direct/indirect benefits) -analogy: the taste that we find appealing and disgusting are related to fitness-relevant concerns -direct and indirect benefits direct benefits: increase the chooser's survival or child rearing potential (i.e, direct influence on chooser's fecundity) -fertility/virility -material benefits (food, resources) -parental effort -protection from predators or other humans (especially harassment) -reduced risk of contracting parasites indirect benefits: increase the viability (attractiveness) of chooser's offspring -good genes (for offspring survival and sexiness) -low mutation load -compatible genes -humans evolved to be attracted to any cue statistically correlated with these (all else being equal) example: genetic complementarity: -complementarity of genes – work well together -advantages of heterozygosity (having one of each gene not two of both): two copies of sickle cell bad, one copy of malaria makes you immune to it -staying ahead of pathogens/parasites: sexual reproduction “changes the immune system's locks every generation” (red queen hypothesis) 3. Major Histocompatability Complex (MHC) -set of loci coding for products in immune response -many variations, and much more heterozygosity than expected by chance -heterozygotes have selective advantage under pathogen pressure (heterozygote has better immune defence) -MHC-types within couples suggest non-random mating with respect to MHC -MHC and Odor -mice can detect differences of ones MHC gene in odor -possible cause: breakdown of compounds by bacteria -does MHC affect odor preferences in humans? -prediction: women will rate the scent of MHC-dissimilar men more pleasant than the scent of MHC-similar men study: T-shirt sniffing -men wear t-shirts for two nights (abstaining from smoking, spices, etc. -women smell the shirts & rate on pleasantness, sexiness,
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