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Lecture11 - The Dating Game

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University of Waterloo
Richard Ennis

Lecture 11: The Dating Game Outline: Social Exchange: Love in the Want Ads Dating rituals: Evolution Inclusive Fitness Optimal Strategies The Competition Social Exchange Physical Attraction The Beauty Bias The Downside of Beauty Attractive Acts Social Exchange: Patterns in dating ads: • Men showed themselves as stable providers, and asked for beauty and youth in their applicants. Woman advertised themselves as such, and asked for what the men offered. o “Sex for Success” Exchange. Dating Rituals: Inclusive Fitness: • We have a biological need to pass on our genes. • “Sexual Selection” o Only those that are most fit have a competitive advantage in passing on their genes to future generations. • In order to do this, we need to: o Procreate o Ensure that the offspring survive to sexual maturity • Women: o What is their optimal strategy for this?  Ovum (egg)  genetic packet for the woman. • 480 ova (12 chances per year, for 40 years) • Every time she is successful, we subtract 9.  “The selective strategy”; supply and demand. Her genetic packets are rare. She wants to ensure that the other 50% of the fertilization is worthy. In turn, women run the Dating Game. • Men: o What is their optimal strategy for this?  Sperm  genetic packet for the man. • Infinite numbers available. • Every time he is successful, there is no deduction.  “The opportunistic strategy”; have sex at every opportunity. • Women produced a new strategy for men the Family strategy. o Men would invest in the woman, participating in ensuring security for the family, providing for the family, and helping raise the child. In turn, the woman would give the man sexual exclusivity (helping the man know that the child was in fact theirs, knowing that they were succeeding in passing on their genetics). o Men began to look for youth in their women so that she would be able to produce children longer. They also looked for indicators to show that she would be able to raise the child.  This lead to an interpretation of beauty. • Men looked for the hour glass figure (large hips for child bearing, breasts for feeding the children), and other healthy aspects in looks. • Women looked for strong men (triangular
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