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Chapter 5 Pp 139 173

Mens Long-Term Mating Strategies


Why men might benefit from commitment and marriage: 1- Men who failed to commit might have failed to attract any women at all. 2- Marriage increases the quality of the woman a man could attract. - men who promise long term resources, protection etc would attract a wider range of women than a male who is not. 3- Potential increase in the odds that a man is the father of a child a woman bears. (Increased Paternity Certainty) - marriage allows a man repeated sexual access 4- Increase in the survival of the mans children. - infants frequently died without the prolonged investment of two parents. 5- Increased reproductive success of children accrued through paternal investment - fathers could have pre-arranged mates for their sons/daughters if they survive. 6- Marriage brings an increase in status. - In many cultures, men arent considered to be men until they have married. 7- Added coalitional Allies - Marriage into a womans family also brings a coalition of allies from the wifes side. The problem of assessing a womans fertility or reproductive value When a female chimp is capable of conceiving, she goes into a phase called estrus the time when she releases her eggs and shows maximal sexual receptivity. The receptivity is usually advertised by bright red swollen genitals and scents highly attractive to male chimps. Human males however do not have this luxury. 1 Human females ovulation is concealed / cryptic. 2 Sexual activity among most humans occurs throughout the womans ovulation cycle.

Reproductive Value - refers to the number of children a person of a given age and sex is likely to have in the future. Reproductive value refers to the average expected future reproduction a person of a given age and sex. Fertility defined as the actual reproductive performance, measured by the number of viable offspring produced.

In human populations, women in their mid-twenties tend to produce the most viable children, and so fertility tends to peak in the mid-twenties. Ancestral men could have evolved adaptations sensitive to observable qualities of a woman that are correlated with underlying reproductive value youth and health. Preference for Youth Youth is critical because a womans reproductive value declines steadily as she moves past age twenty. By forty, a womans reproductive capacity is low, and by fifty it is essentially zero. Tanomamo Indian of the Amazon Use the word moko dude means that fruit is harvestable / ripe. In the context of a woman it means that she is post pubescent but has not yet borne her first child. On average, men from different cultures expressed a desire for wives approximately two and a half years younger than themselves. In cultures that practice polygyny, there tends to be a greater age difference between men and their wives. As men grow older, they accumulate enough resources to marry another wife. In monogamous cultures, as men grow older they prefer women who are increasingly younger. Men in their thirties prefer women who are roughly five years younger, men in their fifties prefer women who are ten to twenty years younger. Teenage men tend to prefer women who are slightly older this has been found true. During experiments teenage males were found to accept dates who were slightly younger but greatly preferred dates with women who were older then they were. One explanation for mens desire for young women, for example, is that young women are easier to control, are less dominant. In some cases however, men prefer women who are still beyond their maximum fertility. For example, if a male is fifty and finds a mate who is thirty. Some explanations: 1 older men may have difficulty attracting dramatically younger women.

2 Large age discrepancies may create less compatibility, greater marital conflict, more marital instability. 3 modern marriage likely differs from ancestral marriage. In modern marriages couple spend a great deal of time together, socialize, act as companions whereas ancestral marriage in hunter gatherer groups there was a sharp division of labour where women would spend the bulk of their time with children and men socializing and hunting with other men. Evolved Standards of Physical Beauty Female beauty could embody cues to a womans reproductive value. Ancestors had access to two types of observable evidence of a womans reproductive value: 1- Features of physical appearance (lips, clear skin, smooth skin, clear eyes, lustrous hair, muscle tone, body fat distribution) 2- Features of behavior (bouncy youthful gait, animated facial expressions, high energy level) These physical cues to youth and health, and hence fertility and reproductive value. Other factors: Length and quality of womens hair. Skin quality Facial femininity Facial Symmetry Facial averageness (ie NOT a strange face, but similar to other women) o why? People shoe a generalized cognitive preference for things that are easily processed. People also find the average images of fish, birds, even cars more attractive than individual fish, birds or cars. o Averageness may be a marker of genetic of phenotypic quality. Long Legs (possibly why men find high heels attractive) Standards of Beauty Emerge Early in Life Both younger and older infants (2-3 months, and six-eight months) gazed longer at more attractive faces, suggesting that standards of beauty apparently emerge quite early in life. In a second study, researches found that twelve month old infants played significantly longer with facially attractive dolls than with unattractive dolls. This evidence challenges the commonly held view that the standards of attractiveness are learned through gradual exposure to current cultural models. No training seems necessary for these standards to emerge. Standards of Beauty are Consistent Across Cultures (self explanatory)

Beauty and the Brain Scientists are starting to use fMRI to identify the links between psychological mechanisms and specific brain circuits. Researches exposed heterosexual male participants to four sets of faces differing in attractiveness, as determined by prior ratings: attractive females, average females, attractive males, average males. While participants viewed these images their brains were imaged in six regions. Results? When men looked at attractive female faces, the nucleus accumbens area of the brain became especially activated. This nucleus accumbens area is associated with pleasure. This area of the brain however did not become activated when looking at any male or typical female faces. Simply put, looking at attractive female faces are psychologically and neurological rewarding to men. Body Fat, Waist-to-hip Ratio(WHR), and Body Mass Index (BMI) Men in cultures where food is scarce tend to prefer more plump women, or even in economically hard times. Bushmen of Australia (food is scarce for them) plumpness signals wealth, health and adequate nutrition during development. Men in cultures where food is relatively abundant, (United States) the relationship between plumpness and status is reversed. The wealthy distinguish themselves by being thin. These are examples of context dependant adaptations Several studies show that men prefer an average body size. However women think that men want them to be thinner than normal. A study of 7434 individuals from twenty-six cultures in ten world regions found that men consistently prefer female bodies that are heavier in weight than womens perceptions of what men prefer. WHRs essentially the hourglass figure (lower ratio = more curvatious) Healthy reproductively capable women have WHRs between .67 and .80. Women with higher WHRs have more difficulty becoming pregnant. WHR is also an accurate indication of long-term health. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, gallbladder disorders have been shown to be linked with the distribution of fat, as reflected by the WHR rather than with the total amount of fat per se. Regardless of the total amount of fat, men find women with lower WHRs to be more attractive. Men who are blind from birth, who touched the figure of a woman with a low WHR prefer the low WHR models vs the high WHR models suggesting that the preference for low WHR can develop with the total absence of visual input.

BMI a measure of the overall body fat as calculated from a persons height and weight. As WHR increases so does BMI. It is still controversial to which is a better indicator of female physical attractiveness.

Sex Differences in the Importance of Physical Appearance Men place a premium on physical appearance and attractiveness in their mate preferences, and men value this more than women cross culturally. This importance however is NOT fixed. The importance of attractiveness has increased dramatically in the United States in the twentieth century. This can be attributed to a cultural evolution and the imput from the social environment (media?) Do men have a preference for ovulating women? Ancestral men who were able to detect ovulating women would have several advantages of men who could not. 1- they could channel their courtship, seduction, sexual behavior maximizing the odds of successful fertilization. 2- They could save effort by avoiding women who were not ovulating 3- A married man could restrict his mate-guarding efforts to the period in which his wife was ovulating. Several lines of evidence that suggest men might be able to detect when a women ovulate: 1- a womans skin becomes suffused with blood their skin glows red cheeks 2- a womans lightens slightly during ovulation 3- a womans levels of circulating estrogen increase which produces a corresponding decrease in WHR a lower WHR is more attractive to men 4- Ovulating women touched more often in singles bars 5- Men found the body odour of women to be more attractive and pleasant during the fertile stage of the menstrual cycle. 6- Men who smelled t-shirts worn by ovulating women displayed a subsequent rise in testosterone levels compared to men who smelled shirts worn by nonovulating women. 7- Womens voices rise in pitch (more attractive) during ovulation 8- Womens faces are judged by both sexes to be more attractive during the fertile stage than the luteal phase. 9- Women report feeling more attractive and desireable as well as an increased interest in sex 10- Study of professional lap dancers working in a club found that ovulating women received significantly higher tips than other women who werent in the same stage.

Solutions to the Problem of Paternity Uncertainty Concealed ovulation dramatically changed the ground rules of human mating. Because mating is not the sole activity needed for humans to survive and reproduce, women could not be guarded around the clock. The more time a man spent guarding the less time he had to spend elsewhere. Solutions: 1- marriage a. married men would benefit by increasing the certainty of paternity. b. The social traditions of marriage function as a public joining of the couple, providing clear signals about who is mated with whom and thus potentially reducing conflict within male coalitions. c. Males had to seek assurances that the female would remain sexually faithful to him otherwise a male could be investing in another males children who he believes to be his own. Solution to this: (c) 1- the desire for premarital chastity 2- the quest for postmarital sexual fidelity. By selecting a woman who was a virgin (a womans chastity, chaste) it could help him to judge a womans future fidelity (sexual faithfulness). By todays standards, men have more of a preference for virgin brides than females value virgin grooms. This preference is different among different cultures. Variability may be due to: 1- prevailing incidence of premarital sex. 2- Degree to which chastity can be demanded in a mate 3- Economic independence of women 4- Reliability with which chastity can be evaluated Physical tests of a womans virginity is unreliable. In Sweden, women are economically dependant and premarital sex is not discouraged. Marriage provides women with far less benefits compared to women from most other countries / cultures. Women who have had many sexual partners before marriage are more likely to be unfaithful than those who have had few. Perhaps this is why men today prefer virgins it is a solution to ancestral mens problems. Men regard unfaithfulness as the least desirable trait in a woman. It proves to be the most upsetting thing a spouse could do to a man.

Men in positions of Power Men high in occupational status are able to marry women who are considerably more attractive than can men in low occupational status. A mans occupational status seems to be the best predictor of the attractiveness of the woman he marries. Contrast Effects from Viewing Attractive Models Men who viewed pictures of attractive women judged their actual partners to be less attractive than those who viewed pictures of women who were average. They also rated themselves to be less committed to, less satisfied with, less serious about and less close to their actual partners. There has been no such evidence found with women rating their male partners. Men also were tested to see their responses to women who smiled and acted warmly. And similar results were found. Authors conclude that men shift their allocation of their mating effort, not just in response to a womans physical attractiveness but also to the response cues of female receptivity. Media has a large role to play with this. Media images do not represent real women in our actual social environment. Rather these images exploit mechanisms designed for a different environment. As a consequence, men may become dissatisfied with, and less committed to their mates. Potential damage inflicted by these images affects women as well they create spiraling and unhealthy competition with other women. Testosterone (T) and Mens Mating Strategies Higher levels of T facilitate male pursuit of females, and T levels increase after interacting with an attractive woman. T levels drop in a man after he succeeds in attracting a long term mate. Two reasons for a T level drop after becoming committed: 1- T levels drop after becoming involved in a committed relationship 2- Men with low T levels are more likely to get into committed relationships whereas men with high T levels prefer to remain free to pursue short-term mating. The Necessities and Luxuries of Mate Preferences Mating dollars Men with low mating dollars spent a high proportion of them to physical attractiveness. As the budget increases, men spent their mating dollars on other attributes like kindness, creativity, liveliness, intelligence.

Mens responses to Womens Personal Ads Men tended to respond more to womens adds than women did to males. Men tended to receive only 68 percent as many letters as women did. Younger women received more responses from men than did older women. Mentioning physical attractiveness increased responses from both men and women, but more men responded to them than women. Marital Decisions and Reproductive Outcomes American grooms exceed their brides in age by roughly: 1 three years at first marriage 2 fives years at second marriage 3 eight years at third marriage In polygynous cultures, age difference is even larger. Effect of Mens Preferences on Attention, Vocalization, Tips and Engagement Rings When shown pictures of attractive women and other stimuli, men had a harder time removing their attention to the alternate stimuli off of the attractive woman than a non attractive woman. (Attentional adhesion). Men who thought they were speaking with an attractive woman over the phone lowered their voices below normal, in contrast to men who thought they were speaking to less attractive women. Women who were more attractive (younger, larger breasts, blond hair, smaller body size) received more tips than other women. Men who had brides to be spent more money on engagement rings if the woman was younger rather than older. Effect of Mens Mate Preferences on Womens Competition Tactics Women tend to change their tactics based on their perceptions of what men want. 1- wore more facial makup 2- dieted 3- kept self well groomed 4- new hair style Women also tended to call other women slutty which could be undesirable to a man seeking a mate. The effects of the premium men place on physical appearance may lead to negative or maladaptive outcomes for women eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)

Researches say that the combination of: 1- importance men place on attractiveness 2- media images 3- high levels of fitness in the US all place intrasexual competition to appear youthful, and thin. Mate preferences affect not only mens own mating behavior but mating behavior of women and their competition tactics.