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PS287 Psych of Gender Chapter 9 Notes.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Lawrence Murphy

PS287 CH. 9 NOTES – ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS Terms & Concepts Evolutionary Theory Men & women behave in ways that will maximize the survival of their genes. Men value attractiveness & youth in mates (indicators of fertility). Weakness: It cannot explain men’s preferences for women w/ domestic skills. Social Role Theory A society’s emphasis on distinct division of labour b/w the sexes will be directly linked to sex differences in mate selection. Females will value a mate w/ high earning capacity; males will value a mate w/ domestic skills in societies where men’s role is to work outside the home & women’s role is to work inside the home. Weakness: Cannot explain men’s preferences for attractive mates. Social Construction Social norms dictate what is desirable in a mate. Theory Script A schema/cognitive representation of a sequence of events. Theory of Love There are 3 primary styles of love: Eros, Storge, Ludus. There are also 3 blends of these love styles: mania, pragma, agape. Eros Romantic love. Storge Friendship love. Ludus Game-playing love. Mania Maniac love. Blend of eros & ludus. Pragma Practical love. Blend of storge & ludus. Agape Pure love. Blend of eros & storge. Social Exchange Relationships satisfaction is partly determined by the benefits & costs incurred Theory in a relationship. Emotional Where one person’s emotions influence another person’s emotions. Transmission Demand/Withdraw Characterized by 1 person demanding (not nagging), & the other person not Pattern responding/w/drawing. Demander is more likely to initiate problem discussion. W/drawer is more likely to avoid problem discussion. Demander more likely to be a woman, w/drawer a man. Notes Relationship Development - Women & men agree on the most important characteristics of a mate: o Kind o Understanding o Honest o Trustworthy o Sense of humour o Open 1 o Expressive - There are consistent sex differences on traits that are relatively unimportant in choosing a mate o Men value physical attractiveness more o Women value economic resources more - The nature of the relationship influences mate preferences o Sex differences are more likely to appear when the relationship is less serious o Men’s & women’s preferences are most similar in serious relationships - Gay men/lesbians are attracted to a similar set of characteristics in potential mates as heterosexuals o Gay men (like straight men) are more interested in a mate’s physical attractiveness o However, lesbians (unlike straight women) are not attracted to a potential mate’s financial resources - Ppl make trade-offs when choosing mates - Sex differences are minimized when trade-offs are made & women & men choose more similar mates - Sex differences in mate preferences can be explained by: o Evolutionary Theory o Social Theory o Social Construction Theory - Both Evolutionary Theory & Social Theory can explain why women prefer a mate w/ greater economic resources - Social Construction Theory of mate preferences is supported by cultural differences in mate preferences o Sex differences in mate preferences may be larger in more traditional cultures where men’s & women’s roles are distinct & women have less access to economic resources - In the past & present, society expects men to initiate romantic relationships o However, men may be relatively uncomfortable having this responsibility - First date scripts for relationship initiation among straight & gay ppl contain similar components o Straight & gay men take the more proactive role in relationships (compared to straight women & lesbians) o However, other aspects of the first date script are not divided by sex in homo relationships in the way that they are in straight relationships The Nature of Romantic Relationships - Romantic relationships are expected to provide: o Intimacy/closeness o Love o Sexual exclusivity - On the whole, men & women conceptualize intimacy in the same ways o Intimacy includes:  Expressions of love & appreciation  Feelings of happiness & contentment  Self-disclosure - Sex may be a more important component of intimacy for both straight & gay men than women, but it is still not the most important feature of intimacy for men - Historically, women had
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