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Lecture 18

Outline of Lecture 18 Conflict 2.odt

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PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

Outline of Lecture 18 Conflict 2 Note: this lecture will be disturbing to some, as it deals with conflict (and abuse) within relationships. 1. Sperm Competition - Responses to cues of sperm competition: prevention, more sperm, reduced parenting -sexual selection and competition for mates does not always end at mating -if multiple males mate with a female, only one sperm will fertilize each egg -sperm competition: increasing the likelihood that one's sperm will fertilize the eggs -number of ways to do this: put out more sperm, invest more in sperm production Investment in Sperm -nontrivial costs of sperm production, incl. “depletion” -across species: rates of polyandry (risk of sperm competition) correlate with testes size (relative to body size) -orangutangs, gorillas: keep females to themselves (alpha), small testes -chimps: females mate with many guys, testes are huge compared. -males: less polyandry than chimps, but more than gorillas. Big testes Male Responses to Cues of Sperm Competitions -preventative tactics: mate guarding & coercion -sperm competition tactics: mate more often, release more sperm per mating (“overwhelming”), remove competitors' sperm -differential parental investment: reduced investment in presence of cues of non-paternity do human males do this? -the more time male spends with female partner, the less sperm he ejaculates. Fewer cues of sperm competition with more time spent Sperm Competition and Arousal hypothesis: cues of sperm competition lead to higher arousal (I.e, a need for more sperm relatively soon) non-humans: let a male mate with a female after observing her mate with another male, measure sperm. Male will pump out more sperm after watching a male mate with a female before he does. Humans: measure sperm responses to images involving sperm competition (i.e. more than one or one male with females) 2. Strategies for reducing infidelity Costs of Infidelity: partner infidelity is harmful to one's RS -desertion -cuckoldry (males only) -diverting resources (more a problem for females) -selection should favor psychological mechanisms that reduce the likelihood of infidelity -adaptive function of (some) jealousy (optimal level of jealousy) -possible ways to reduce a mate's infidelity: -preventing infidelity (mate guarding) -deterring infidelity (e.g. coercive control) – Mate guarding (preventing) – actions taken to prevent partner from mating with another – these can include: – maintaining proximity to partner – deterring rivals (not necessarily aggressively) – claustration & isolation – presence of someone else changes the chances of mating? – Note: all of these may also be performed by kin members – Coercive control (deterring)
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