Social Psychology - dating
November 15 2012
Social exchange: Love in the Want ads
Relationships are based on equal value of giving and receiving. “Sex for success”
exchange. Man brings success and woman brings sexual favor to the relationship. In
the 50’s to test this theory, social psych. looked at want ads in the paper. Men did
seek psychical attractiveness, men did offer however some sense of security – men
wanted women younger than themselves. Women who placed the ads had a mirror
of this, they did offer youth and beauty and health also in return they sought
commitment. Since that study, the pattern has diminished slightly because women
are more secure nowadays.
Dating rituals: Evolution: that theory makes evolutionary sense.
Inclusive fitness = the evolutionary competition is at the gene level. We all have a
biological imperative to procreate and in the interest of our species the “best” have
to procreate, you must also see that offspring reach sexual maturity. (If you can’t
become a grandparent than that means your biological imperative hasn’t been
Optimal strategies = what would be the best sexual strategy for each gender?
For men: Sperm – Virtually unlimited. And there is no deduction for success.
Therefore he should procreate with as many women as possible and as often as
possible. (Opportunistic strategy)
For women: Egg – Has one per month, and 40 years to procreate (12x40) = 480
chances. -9 months every time an egg is conceived. Therefore she should choose the
best ‘mate’ and selective. She has a very finite set of genetic packets, very few opp. to
produce offspring therefore she should not waste the eggs on any sperm. (Selective
- Alternative plan (the family alternative) – the opportunistic strategy won’t work
anymore, if men want to procreate, they must commit and help in the raising of the
offspring to puberty. None of the men have paternal certainty, women do have
maternal certainty. If the men do that, then they will commit in a monogamous
relationship. But if they’re going to do that then the women need to choose the right
The competition = to convince the women that they should choose them to be in a
relationship with. Want a strong, protective male – bring resources. Therefore he
needs to be muscular, in that world that these would indicate success. The male
needs to be willing to commit and attach, male needs to be capable of emotional
bonding = romantic. Testing for husband and father throughout the dating process.
Dating ritual among the aps. Women choose, men don’t do the choosing. Men will
want as many of the eggs as they can get, hourglass shape - according to