Lecture 2 - Organic Origins Debate

Female Long-Term
Mating Strategies
Sex in the Village
Female Mate Choice
Minimum parental investment
Women invest more minimally in offspring
and bear greater cost
Hence, they are choosier regarding their
"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
Athletic, strong
 Aggressive, competitive traits
 Runaway sexual selection constrained… by
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
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
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
 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
 Still prefer men with high status and
resource control
 Supports EP
 Contradicts structural powerlessness
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)
Freud proposed that humans construct norms
regarding incest in order to avoid unraveling
of family
Incest in humans often has deleterious
 Recessive lethal alleles
Interlude: Incest Avoidance (2)
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
The Wrap-Up
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

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