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Lecture 12

PSYC 3100 Lecture 12: Lecture 12

Course Code
PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

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Thursday, October 18th, 2018
Evolutionary Psychology, Lecture 12- Mating 1
Some Basic Predictions
What do men and women want in a mate? Is there anything about human behavior
when it comes to the search for a mate?
o Some theories have suggested that people search for mates who resemble
archetypical images of the opposite-sex parent (Freud + Jung), or mates with
characteristics that are either complementary or similar to one’s own qualities,
or mates who whom to make an equitable exchange of valuable resources
What would an outside observer predict about human mating?
o Attempt to assess human mating
o And ask a question…” would you…”
“Would you…”
o A higher percentage of women reject men who ask them to go back to their
apartments or have sex with them
o The reactions between men and women are also different
o Men tend to make excuses (not tonight, I’m dating someone, I would
but…) whereas women tend to fatly reject men (what is wrong with you?
Get away from me!)
You can see this pattern with a lot of mammals on the planet
Why is it that so many mammals are a lot alike?
o Why would we expect that makes of many species are so willing to engage in
Competition and Choice
Sexual-strategies theory holds that patterns in mating behavior exist because they are
evolutionarily advantageous
We are obviously descendants of people who were able to mate successfully
Those people who failed to mate successfully because they did not express these
strategies are not our ancestors
Charles Darwin was the first to show that mate preferences could affect human
Sexual selection competition over access to gametes (eggs, sperm)
Intrasexual competition involves competition between members of the same sex to
gain preferential access to mating partners…such as strength, size, agility, confidence
Intersexual competition mate choice
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Preferential mate choice involves the desire for mating with partners that posses’
certain characteristics
Sexual Strategies
Our evolutionary framework is based on 3 key ingredients:
o First, human mating is inherently strategic
o Second, mating strategies are context-dependent
o Third, men and women have faced different mating problems over the course of
human evolution and as a consequence have evolved different strategies
This consists of 9 hypotheses…
Short-term mating is more important for men than women
Men seeking a short-term mate will solve the problem of identifying women
who are sexually accessible
Men seeking a short-term mate will minimize commitment and investment
And 5: men seeking short-term mate will solve the problem of identifying fertile
women, whereas men seeking a long-term mate will solve the problem of
identifying reproductivity valuable women
Men seeking a long-term mate will solve the problem of paternity confidence
Women seeking a short-term mate will prefer men willing to impact immediate
Women will be more selective then men in choosing a shirt-term mate
Women seeking a long-term mate will prefer men who can provide resources
for their offspring
Types of Mating
Men’s Reproductive
Women’s Reproductive
Partner number
Identifying women who
are sexually accessible
Minimizing costs, risks,
and commitment
Immediate resource
Evaluating short-term
mates as possible long-
term mates
Attaining men with high-
quality genes
Cultivating potential
backup mates
Paternity confidence
Accessing a women’s
reproductive value
Identifying women with
good parenting skills
Attaining women with
high-quality genes
Identifying men who are
able and willing to invest
Physical protection from
aggressive men
Identifying men who will
Identifying men with
good parenting skills
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