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Lecture 10

PSY230H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Sexually Transmitted Infection, Extraversion And Introversion, Chromosome

Course Code
Ulrich Schimmack

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Evolution and personality(Textbook notes)
Evolutionary psychology explain human behavior as a function of human evolution.
Similarities btw evolutionary psychology and personality psychology:
oBoth focuses human behavior that are within an individual rather than situation.(sweet taste)
Differences btw evolutionary psychology and personality psychology:
oMost evolutionary theories focus on human universals
oPersonality psychology focuses on variation among humans
oEvolutionary psy ignore variation among humans
oPersonality psychologists try to measure biological processes to explain human behavior.
oIn contrast, evolutionary psychologists do not measure the causal factors, if only because the
causal factors are historic events that occurred thousands of years ago.
oEvolutionary psy human behaviors were functional (adaptive) during the history of human
Evolution and gender
Many evolutionary problems are the same for men and women (finding food, shelter, body
temperature regulation) .
- no gender differences
Some evolutionary problems differ between men and women (e.g., uncertainty of paternity).
- gender differences
Many personality characteristics show no or only small gender differences.
Even anxiety associated with women, where as men are supposed to be brave and fearless, shows
only a moderate gender difference (see table).
Sex Differences in Personality
d = .40; r = .2 = r2 = .04
Source. Costa, P., Jr., Terracciano, A., & McCrae, R.
R. (2001). Gender differences in personality traits
across cultures: Robust and surprising findings.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(2),

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Mate preferences.
Men rank physicalattractiveness as more important than women.
oThe difference is moderate (d = .54,5cm).
Women tend to value high socio-economic status and ambition as more important than men. The
difference is moderate (d = .68, or about 7cm).
Men and women value both characteristics however, when given a choice men seem to emphasize
attractiveness more and women tend to emphasize
This differences point towards a more stable biological influences rather than cultural differences.
Desire time before having sex :
Study sex differences in the desire for casual sex by asking male and female students at what point
during a relationship they would be willing to have sex:
Willingness to have sex increases with length of relationship for men and women.
However, there are large sex differences at the beginning of a relationship males tend to be
ready to have sex more faster than females
Theoretical explanations of gender differences in sexual desire
1. Evolutionary explanation
2. Psychodynamic theory

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3. Social learning explanation
4. Social norm theory
The evolutionary explanation:
Men contribute sperm, whereas women have to carry the baby for 9 month
It takes lot more energy for women and women take big risks for survival.
Health complications during labor still cost many women in poor countries their lives.
Men can get away with a minimal investment in an offspring.
Women have a much larger cost pregnant for nine months, need of high calories, food , can cost
their lives during child birth
Men and women imply sex differences in the quantity of offsprings.
For women quality of mate is more important than quantity
Woman can only have small number of children (20) where men can father 100s children
Women are are more valuable than men.
Casual sex has evolutionary benefits for men and costs for women so women are more selective
A psychodynamic theory
Boys and girls first fall in love with their mother.
Because mothers are female, boys find it easy to continue to love women, who have the same sex as
their mother (unconsciously)
In contrast, girls have to learn to love men, who have a different sex than their mother.
So men's attraction to women is greater than women's attraction to men.
Problem boys with no mother? What happens then?
The social learning explanation.
Social learning theory sex differences are learned rather than biologically based.
Boys model the behavior of male role models, whereas girls model the behavior of female role
Sex differences in previous generations, social learning will reproduce the same sex differences in
the next generation.
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