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Reversal: What if males invest more than females? (parental investment theory)

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Reversal: What if males invest more than females? (parental investment theory)

· Males are choosier · Females are larger, more competitive & aggressive

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Strategic Pluralism Theory

· Variation in sexual strategies within the sex · Just as much variation within sex as there is between the sexes · Purpose is to look at the variation within sex rather than between the sexes

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Life History Theory

· Childhood experiences shape people's mating strategy

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Predictable/safe childhood (life history theory) =

· slow reproductive strategy (fewer children and investing large amounts of time and resources to those few)

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Unpredictable/dangerous childhood (life history theory) =

· fast reproductive strategy (reach sexual maturity early, start having sex early, have as many children as fast as you can, impulsive)

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Life History Theory has implications for:

· Age of menarche · Age of first child · Saving vs. spending

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What is the #1 most important trait you look for in a short-term (casual) sexual partner?

Both women and men prioritize physical attractiveness

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What can attractive features reflect signs of?

"good genes"

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What can symmetry reflect?

A strong immune system

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What can attractiveness reflect in women?

fertility and reproductive potential

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Facial masculinity

exposure to testosterone masculinizes the face

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What can attractiveness partially reflect in men?

testosterone

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What does testosterone suppresses?

The immune system

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handicap principle

If a man has high T AND is healthy, he probably has very strong immune system (good genes)

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What is the best definition of physical attractiveness?

A combination of cues that signals a person's reproductive quality

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Maner's Study

· Automatic attentional adhesion to attractive opposite sex faces · Results found greater automatic attention to attractive opposite sex faces when they were in a sexual mood · Those in the sexual desire category that were in committed relationships showed less attention to attractive opposite sex targets · Underlines the importance of long term relationships

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Women's menstrual cycle and short term mating

· Women's desire for short-term mating changes across the menstrual cycle · Women's orientation toward short-term mating increases during ovulation • Linked with an increase in estrogen

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During ovulation women ...

· women prioritize signs of masculinity · prefer the scent of symmetrical men · Women dress more provocatively around ovulation · Women become more flirtatious, and their partners become more vigilant and jealous · Women more willing to cheat on their partner during ovulation (rather they actually cheat depends on the attractiveness of their partner and available partners)

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What happens when women who are on the birth control pill get married, and then go off?

· Women with more attractive partners become more satisfied with their relationships · Women with less attractive partners become less satisfied with their relationships · Birth control suppress hormones and sexual desire

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Human pair bonding

· In 95% of mammal species, father provides no parental investment and there is no long-term pair bonding · Humans are one of the rare exceptions: Fathers often invest tremendously in their offspring and they form pair bonds · Why? Human intelligence · Humans are smart & have big brains · Human offspring born underdeveloped and helpless (to accommodate our big brains) · Children benefit from having both parents around · Evolution of the human pair-bond

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Attachment system

· originally designed for parent-offspring bonding (exists in many species) · When pair-bonding evolved in humans, attachment system co-opted for long-term mating · Oxytocin drives this system

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2 basic dimensions of attachment:

Anxiety and avoidance

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Low avoidance and anxiety =

secure attachment

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Which attachment style tends to have the best relationships?

Secure

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Anxious

· clingy, demanding, and possessive. Can push partners away

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Avoidant

Emotionally distant

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Sex differences in mate preferences:

· Men value physical attractiveness somewhat more than women do, and somewhat more than they want social status · Women value social status somewhat more than men do, and somewhat more than they want physical attractiveness

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Willingness to commit and invest:

· Women prioritize signs of commitment and willingness and ability to invest resources in children

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Sex differences in age preferences:

· Women tend to prefer somewhat older men · Older age related to status · Men tend to prefer somewhat younger women · Youth related to fertility (reproductive potential)

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Women's primary long term mating strategy:

· find a man who is willing and able to commit and invest resources in offspring

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Men's primary long term mating strategy:

· find a woman with high degree of fertility and future reproductive potential

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Men's Mate Preferences:

· Men prefer qualities suggesting a woman would make a good parent · Signs of fertility are prioritized · Men partnered with fertile women would have more offspring than those partnered with less fertile women

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assortive mating theory

· Individuals with similar levels of desirability as a mate tend to pair off

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Do opposites attract?

· In general, people end up with partners who are similar to them · An interesting exception: major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

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major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

· Reflects immune system "type" · People prefer those with dissimilar immune system · Produces offspring with more well-rounded immunity

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How do we know a person's MHC complex?

The best evidence we have is scent; apparently we can smell the type of immune system a person has and it makes them more attractive

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Sex ratio theory

Majority sex is at a disadvantage because of increased competition and mating effort

· Minority sex is at an advantage because of relaxed competition and greater choosiness

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Operational sex ratio

of reproductively aged males to females in a given population/community

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Imbalanced sex ratio

· More men > increases in long-term relationships, monogamy, lower divorce rate, higher paternal investment (when there is more competition men go to the preferred mating strategies of women)

· More women > less monogamy, higher divorce rate, less paternal investment

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Factors that affect parental investment

· The estimated degree of relatedness to a particular child (not a problem for women, big determinate for men) · The ability of a child to convert investment into fitness

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Children with two investing parents

· Lower infant & childhood mortality rates · Higher educational attainment · Better health · More positive emotional well-being · Better social skills · Greater adult socioeconomic status · Go off to have their own successful offspring

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Statistically speaking, care from which parent is especially predictive?

Father. Because most mother's will invest anyway, father's vary.

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Imprinting

· Offspring rapidly learn that parent (or whoever is close) is caregiver · The role of physical touch

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Social nesting

· Women prepare for motherhood · Bring family and friends closer - "tend and befriend" · Distance themselves from others/strangers - social selectivity · Vigilance to threats · Decreased risk-taking · Increased attention to signs of aggression in others (ex. Angry faces)

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Adoption

· Adopted children often receive same (or even better) investment as biological children · Why? · Adoptive parents are often financially well off · To adopt requires large commitment · Adopted children often need more support

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Paternity Certainty

· Fathers invest more when cues signal relatedness (biggest one is resemblance) · Partner fidelity · Resemblance to child · To increase father investment, people exaggerate claims of resemblance · Studies show that infants actually resemble the mom more

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Who is expected to invest in parenting more?

· Older women because they have less future reproductive potential, younger women have many childbearing years ahead of them they have a higher reproductive potential, may benefit more from focusing on mating effort (having more kids rather than investing in current kids.

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· Children of younger mothers more likely to:

· Be terminated during pregnancy · Put up for adoption · Be neglected, abused, & die

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Compared to women, why might men invest less?

· Higher reproductive value from focusing on mating effort · Attractive & high status men less likely to invest (higher opportunity costs of investing in current children)

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Parent child conflict:

· Parents & kids have different interests · Each acts in accord with their own reproductive success · Example: Before birth · Preeclampsia - baby hinders mom's ability to regulate blood flow - increases nutrition to baby but increases mom's blood pressure, damages kidneys

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sibling rivlary

· Parents: Provide resources equally to offspring (or focus on each child's reproductive value) · Offspring: Get as many resources as possible for themselves

· Parents encourage kids to get along and support siblings more than they want to

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Disagreements between parents and siblings:

· Parents desire equal distribution of resources between child and sib · Child wants distribution somewhat in his/her favor, but not drastically unequal (kin selection) · When siblings are not biological siblings (e.g., half-siblings) · Parent still wants equal distribution of resources between child and sib · Child wants highly unequal distribution in his/her favor

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Harsh, unpredictable environments (life history theory):

· Faster maturation · More/earlier reproduction · Lower parental investment · More present-focused and impulsive · Feel distant from family

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Benign, predictable environments (life history theory):

· Slower maturation · Later/less reproduction · Higher parental investment · Optimistic about future, risk-averse · Feel closer to family

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Costs of sexual reproduction:

· Relatively inefficient at transmitting your genes (asexual vs sexual) (< 100% vs 50% of genes passed to next generation) · 2 organisms required · Costs of finding and attracting a partner

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Asexual

identical to parents

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Sexual

mixture of both parents

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The Red Queen hypothesis (explains how and why sexual reproduction evolved):

· Sexual reproduction mixes up the genes that generate immune system functioning ("genetic recombination") · Increases resistance to pathogens

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Why is gamete size/mobility important in thinking about mating psychology?

· Larger & less mobile gametes require a larger energetic investment (9 months incubation, etc) · Female gametes are more reproductively "valuable" · Differences in levels of minimum obligatory parental investment serve as the foundation for sex differences in mating psychology · Differences exist in initial minimum obligatory investment

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Error management theory:

· Avoid costly errors, even if it means making less costly errors ("smoke detector principle") (snake and stick example)

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Sexual overperception bias:

Men overperceive sexual interest from women

· Avoid missing reproductive opportunities

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Factors that increase overperception bias:

· When the woman is attractive · When men are in a sexual mindset · When the man (or woman) has power · Power > sexual overperception bias > sexualized behavior

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Commitment underperception bias:

Women underperceive commitment from men

· Underestimate long-term commitment intent in men · Avoid reproducing with a man who isn't committed (loss of resources)

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2 key predictors of relationship problems

declines in satisfaction and interest in alternative relationship partners

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relationship maintenance

· Two strategies people often use: · Derogation of attractive alternatives · Inattention to attractive alternatives

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Infidelity and divorce

· More attention to attractive relationship alternatives at baseline > twice more likely to commit infidelity · Attention to attractive relationship alternatives > infidelity > divorce · No derogation of attractive relationship alternatives > infidelity > divorce

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Jealousy

· Jealousy stemming from concerns about infidelity contributes to:

· Relationship discord · Divorce · Intimate partner violence

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Sex differences in jealousy:

· Sexual jealousy in men reflects paternal uncertainty (threat of cuckoldry) · Emotional jealousy in women reflects threat of commitment loss

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Physical aggression:

· Higher in men than women · Plays a key role in male intrasexual competition in other species

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Indirect aggression:

· Higher in women than men · Plays a key role in female intrasexual competition · Gossip · Especially toward women perceived as rivals

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Why is kinship important?

· r = Average amount of shared genes · Genetic relatedness (r) matters · We do not consciously compute our relatedness to others

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Hamilton's rule

· We will perform behavior when cost outweighed by benefits X relatedness · This explains how care for kin could evolve · Again, not a conscious strategy · C < B X R

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Identifying kin:

· Childhood exposure · Growing up together creates sense of kinship · The role of familiarity · The role of scent · Mothers and children recognize each other's smell · Siblings may recognize each other, too, but evidence for that isn't as clear · Facial resemblance · Similarity is reliable cue to relatedness

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Kinship estimator =

odor, similarity, childhood exposure, and kin classification systems

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Incest aversion

disgust helps avoid kin incest

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Why not form romantic relationships with kin?

· Incest with close genetic relatives increases the risk of obtaining deleterious gene alleles & impairs genetic diversity · Problem declines as "r" decreases · First-cousin marriages relatively common in many countries and in past · Second-cousin appears safest cutoff

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Kin in modern times

· Lack of proximity to kin can cause feelings of alienation and anxiety · Mismatch between current and ancestral environments

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