Lecture 2 - Organic Origins Debate

Report
Female Long-Term
Mating Strategies
Sex in the Village
Female Mate Choice

Minimum parental investment
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Women invest more minimally in offspring
and bear greater cost
Hence, they are choosier regarding their
partners
"A man on a date wonders if he'll get lucky.
The woman already knows." - Monica Piper
Resourceful Men (1)

For women to evolve preferences for longterm, resourceful mates, men needed to
 Acquire, control, & defend resources
 Vary in resources & willingness to invest
 Be superior at investing in a mate, above
and beyond other men
Resourceful Men (2)

In long-term mates, women tend to prefer
 Economic resources
 Prestige & status
 Slightly older men
 Ambition
 Dependable, stable men
Healthy as a Horse
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Athletic, strong
 Aggressive, competitive traits
Tall
 Runaway sexual selection constrained… by
cancer?
Low fluctuating asymmetry
 The scent of symmetry
Love & Commitment
Love requires some commitment
 This commitment may have been a signal of
a man’s willingness
 To invest resources
 To invest in offspring

Preference for Good Fathers
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A man capable of investing in offspring would
have been desirable in ancestral environment
Male parental investment varies based on
 Mating strategy (e.g., short- vs. long-term)
 Paternity uncertainty
Interlude: Similarity

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For the most part, we tend to mate with
people who are similar
 In appearance
 In values
 In personality traits
This is known as assortative mating
Who Wears the Pants (1)?
Structural powerlessness hypothesis
 Women seek mates who have power &
resources so that they can gain them by
proxy
 EP theory
 Women seek mates who have power &
resources so that there will be greater
investment in offspring

Who Wears the Pants (2)?

When women control large share of
resources
 Still prefer men with high status and
resource control
 Supports EP
 Contradicts structural powerlessness
hypothesis
Marriage vs. Fling
Women, as well as men, set high standards
when looking for a long-term partner
 Physical attractiveness is not as important as
character traits
 However, in the short term, attractiveness
counts a great deal more than otherwise

Interlude: Incest Avoidance (1)

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Freud proposed that humans construct norms
regarding incest in order to avoid unraveling
of family
Incest in humans often has deleterious
effects
 Recessive lethal alleles
Interlude: Incest Avoidance (2)

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Westermarck hypothesis
 People are naturally averse to mating with
others that they were reared with
 “Deviant” behaviour will be codified within
cultural norms
 Contrary to Freud
Example: Israeli kibbutzim
 Of 2,767 marriages, only 13 from same
kibbutz
The Wrap-Up
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
Females tend to be choosier due to greater
minimum investment
For long-term partners, women prefer men
who are
 Resourceful
 Healthy
 Committed and loving
 Good fathers
Things to Come

Long-term male preferences
 Minimum investment
 Youth cues
 Health cues
 Concealed ovulation & paternity
uncertainty

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