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ANTC23 W4.docx

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Joyce Parga

ANTC23 L4 Mate Choice – why are females the “choosier sex”? - Females generally have much greater parental investment than do males - Females must choose mates selectively, because a bad decision in mate choice “costs” them more – i.e. if she mates with genetically poor male, and she will invest a lot of time raising his kid, but if it dies early, it is a waste of time for her. Males can be choosy too but females are much more selective. What do females select for in a mate? - Direct benefits o Examples:  Infant care/protection  Resources i.e. food - Indirect (genetic) benefits: o Examples:  Superior genes for offspring (“good genes”)  Complementary genes (to yourself) - Female baboons can choose male “friends” as mates o Direct benefits:  Can receive “services” from the male, such as grooming (biological market)  Care for offspring (carrying an infant, grooming it, etc.)  Protection (for her infant) from infanticidal males)  “Sex for food” hypothesis. i.e. meat-sharing by male chimpanzees. Females mate more with males who share meat with them. Female mate choice in humans - Women may select for males who will provide parental care o Researchers showed people the pictures to the women – so they showed pictures of men who are ignoring babies crying and men who are actively caretaking the baby, and women rates their handsomeness. So women said nurturing men to be more handsome. o Women rate men providing infant care as looking more attractive. o  Yes, human women use parental care as mate choice. - Women may show preference for high-status males o Because they have more available resources, or the ability to acquire them (money or wealth) - I.e. Green family (men with multiple wives) o Men with many “resources” can potentially attract many mates  I.e. polygamy Female mate choice for genetic benefits - Often, female primates select for dominant males as mates o Dominance is thought to indicate genetic quality Female mate choice in humans (cont’d) - Women may select for “dominant” males o Women may select for “dominant” males (those with high social standing, etc.) o Apart from knowing social status, how do women identify dominant men? Male facial features can contain information of social status. Potential cues of dominance: male facial appearance nd rd - 2 and 3 slide: - Dominant faces (left) o Prominent chin o Heavy brow bridges o Muscular face - Face with low dominance (right) o Weak chin o Slight brow bridges o Fleshy faces MHC - Major histocompatibility complex: a cluster of highly variable genes that code for cell-surface molecules that control immunological activity o Genes that control immunological activity o i.e. say someone needs a key transplant, and if they need a perfect match, and if their body rejects, it is because of the MHC. MHC is functional sensing cells vs. non-cells - In humans, it is called HLA (Human Leukocyte Antigen) MHC is involved in: - Protection against disease - Parasite resistance - May be useful in mate choices - MHC molecules found in body secretions (urine, perspiration, etc.) – if you are really close to someone and you can smell their sweat, you should be able to sense that there is MHC. - Individuals may use these chemical cues in selecting a mate with dissimilar MHC genes. o Might function in inbreeding avoidance (mates who are genetically dissimilar which gives offspring a varied genes) - Tee-shirt studies o Women rate the scent of men having dissimilar MHC-ty
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