PSYC 3420 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Parental Investment, Child Abuse, Maternal Sensitivity

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24 Apr 2012
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Chapter 7 evolutionary psychology
Challenges of parenting and kinship
Problems of parenting:
oSheper tiger- women on kibbutz; strong preferences; own children live with
them; men tried to veto,
o Offspring vehicles for parents; means to genes transference
oNatural selection favored gene survival
oSurvival, thriving, mating success, however- many don’t engage in care at all
oVery costly thing; not universal then; reproductive benefits must outweigh the
others
oMexican bats do this; genetic recognition among other bats in caves
oTinbergen-nesting birds
Eggshell removal for safety; protected new chicks from edges; nest less
noticeable
Only protector of predator was the increased for survival tactic as the
cost outweighed the benefits of increased predation
oNo parental motivation is spoken of in human psych; very rare if…
oLove is remarkable and unclear; far from unconditional
Why do mother provide more parental care than fathers:
Alcock-father did nothing to protect; women do show more touch, love,
contact, care
oThe paternity uncertainty hypothesis:
Mothers are certain of genetic contribution, 50% genes
Males unsure, and doubt, some other guy may have fertilized
Uncertainty –strongest in internal female fertilization-insects, human,
mammals
Too costly to spend on children for men
oThe mating opportunity cost hypothesis:
Mating opportunity costs missed additional mating as result of effort
devoted to offspring; no new mates
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Higher for females; hence less parental care from males
Male care should be rare when costs of missing new mates for males is
high
Fish males guard territory and eggs
In a surplus of males in mating pool; less likely a short term mating
strategy; many women in the pool; short term popular
Attractiveness and city life help determine this
Evolutionary perspective on parental care:
oSelection will favor adaptation for parental care
oParental favoritism-parental care mechanisms favor some offspring over other
oEvolved mechanism should be sensitive to 3 contexts:
1. Genetic relatedness of offspring- are they really yours
2. Ability of offspring to convert parental care into fitness-will it help?
3. Alternative uses of resources that might be available to invest in
offspring-better to help my nephew or find new mate??
oGenetic relatedness to offspring:
Genetic tests can cause care reversal
Substitute parents will simply care less; invest less
Stepparents-53% stepfathers/25% stepmothers=claimed to have parental
feelings to step children
Stepfather interaction were more aggressive, less frequent
Stepchildren found it more unpleasant and leave earlier than genetic
children
Webster- stepmom=fathers next marriage; less care to children
Even cultural shows have stepmom killing stepchildren
Social scientists say this is of myth and irrational
Fathers- resemblance/ sexual fidelity= 2 keys he has to determine…
oWho are newborn babies said to resemble:
Say it resembles father to enhance care
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Show 4x more likely than women =80% to 20% resemblances
Relatives how 66% bias to father look alike
Most likely to say this when father in room
Bias doesn’t reflect actual; don’t resemble them any more than they do
Women much less affected by child’s resemblance to selves
Fmri-men more cortical activity when resembling children there; more
neural activation in left front cortex; evolved adaptations!
Father who perceive resemblance are given more attn., school help
Invest more in children when unsuspecting wife
Men who rated them not resembling-more injuries on their partners=cue
perhaps
oParents investment in children:
1. Men will allocate more to genetic children than step children
2. Men who are uncertain will invest less
3. Men invest more when mother is current mate
½=evolutionary theory; 3= use parental care as form of mating effort
69% received money for college; 13,000 avg; and 44% paid college
expenses
Prediction 1.supported all 3 predictions! 5.5 x likely if genetic child to
get $; 15,000 more; 65% more expenses paid for
Prediction 2.less paternity certainty- 13% to receive money at all for
college; 28,000 less;
Prediction 3. 3x likely if child’s mother was their girl in college; 15,00
more; 53% costs paid for\
All 3 prediction were supported
Men with low paternity confidence-less time with putative children, less
in their edu too
Mother facial resemblance has nothing to do with closeness unlike
males
More care and attachment to children hey can recognize and smell
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