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Lecture 5

PSYCH 2800 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Child Abuse, Human Body, StepfamilyPremium

2 pages22 viewsSpring 2018

Course Code
PSYCH 2800
Tom Gilovich

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Lecture 5: Evolutionary Psychology
Parental Involvement
Women are choosier than men in terms of partners -- differences in preferences (how
many partners over a period of time, willingness to go to bed immediately).
Do women and men seek different attributes in a mate?
Buss (1986): The 3 most important attributes are the same: kind, exciting,
intelligent. However, women are more interested in earning capacity; men are
more interested in physical attractiveness. (Replicated in most cultures.)
Beauty standards -- growing thinner over time, reflection of food security?
“Social structural theory-- the differences in sexes and preferences will grow smaller
over time as the opportunities in society become more equal.
UN women study: Women with more power and availability of higher-paid jobs =
less interest in man’s earning potential as a mate.
Why do countries differ so widely in the importance both sexes attach to physical
attractiveness in a mate?
Would be important in cultures where attractiveness is a sign of good
genes/health -- able to overcome unhealthy pathogens. Guss, Gangestad (1992)
-- “good genes” account.
Fluctuating Asymmetry
Human body should be symmetrical, but deviation exists -- could suggest disease,
developmental problems. Ability to overcome pathogens in the womb = more
symmetrical = attractiveness is a sign of good genes, possibly.
Women during menstrual cycles are drawn towards masculine traits.
Relatives and Aggression
Who kills who?
“Relatives” 25%.
Unrelated aquaintances 48%.
Strangers 27%.
Relatives (127) were:
Spouses and non-relatives killed more often than relatives; closer a relative is
genetically, less risk.
Child abuse is more frequent in couples with one or more step-parents, as opposed to
two natural parents.
Why do mothers kill their own children?
Possibly where children are deformed/seem unhealthy - unlikely to be genetically
useful, might not waste injury.
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