PSYC 3420 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Facial Symmetry, Casual Sex, Parental Investment

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24 Apr 2012
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Chapter 4 Evolutionary Psychology
Challenges of sex and mating:
Women’s strategies for mating:
Some always preferred; resources key
Weavbird too chooses by making the male impress by singing, showing nest
Theoretical background for the evolution of mate preferences:
o Parental investment and sexual selection:
Gametes define biological sex
Form with another gamete to form a zygote-i.e. fertilized gamete
Males have smaller, females larger gametes
Men have 12 mill sperm /hr; women 400 ova
Women’s greater initial investment- birth, breastfeeding, lasting up to 4 yrs
Pipefish seahorse, Mormon cricket, Panamanian frog invest more male
Cricket-spermatophore; more discriminating
Females usually go through gestation and fertilization
Selection favoured women who valued their resources and were choosy
Trivers parental investment and sexual selection
1. Sex that invest more will be more discriminating
2. Sex that invests less will be more competitive within
o Mate preferences as evolved psychological mechanisms:
Selection would have favored being generous rather than stingy
Choosier women out-reproduced other women who weren’t choosy
Preferences do change, but potential and future are promising
Preferences track critical components
Some attributes weigh more; susceptible to deceit
Content of women mate preferences:
See 4.1 110 copy
o Preference for economic resources:
Shrikes gather items put on thorns; females choose larges caches
2 preconditions: resources accruable; men would have to differ from e.o.
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Men invest in women with provisions to an extent unprecedented by primates
In primates, males and mates rarely share
Women needed cues to signal a man’s possession of the resources; most
obvious cue among health, status, and athletics
o Preference for good financial prospects:
Women value economic resources more than men
Men rated them as merely desirable
Women 2x as highly as men valuing financial prospects
Us college women indicate min acceptable percentile for husband on earning
capacity is 70th percentile; or above 70% of other men; men 40th percentile
Study across cultures- more value on financial prospects 2x as much as men
Nigeriza,Zambia, India, Indonesia, Iran Japan Taiwan Colombia and
Venezuela valued finances higher than south Africa Netherlands France
Japan-finances valued 150% more than men; women from Netherlands 36%
more than males(less than any other)
Women evolved preferences for resources
Jordan- valued economic ability as well as qualities linked to ability such as
status, ambition, ed
Same sex diff found in tribes of folktales
Primary status of wealth in mate preferences
Women chose speed daters of affluent backgrounds
Sweden 3x as men
Women placed preference on intelligence
Finland lit. Shows higher survival rates of $
o Preference for high social status:
Hunter gather societies; big man is the title given
Women desire these ppl; and their children
2.5 rating /3 for occupation success; casual sex .4-1.1
Not limited to capitalism
Status valued 64% more than men in 37 cultures
Viewed as necessity as opposed to luxury
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o Preference for somewhat older men:
Cue to his access of resources
Tiwi abor-very old have power and prestige in mating system
37 cultures preferred older men
Access to resources increase in age, status too
Ecuador-hunting ability most strong predictor of attractiveness
Mans ambition also important
o Preference for ambition and industriousness:
More status than the lazy
College women prefer career orientation, industry, ambition
Ppl lacking ambition undesirable; in women viewed neutrally
Cross cultures 26-30% valued more than men
o Preference for dependability and stability:
21/37 cultures needed dependability same for both sexes
16/37;women in 15 valued dependability more than men
Across all 37; 2.6/3 ; men rate as 2.5
23/37 cultures women value emotional stability equally; women 2.68; men
2.47
Reliable signals of consistency; lacking dependability and emotional stability
provides heavy costs on r.s.
Those men lacking dependability are abusive, jealous, possessive, moodier
Diversion from resources over time
Unpredictability bad for resources too
Better to reap benefits of consistent emotionally stable dependable guys
o Preference for height and athletic prowess:
Frogs bump to see their prowess
Primate heritage- sexual domination of force
Females made friendships with males who has prowess for mating access
Athletic prowess signs of protection; cue for women
Muscular and lean ; v shaped torso; broad shoulder to hips; from sound of
voice
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