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Male Long-Term Mating Strategies The Problems of Paternity.

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Presentation on theme: "Male Long-Term Mating Strategies The Problems of Paternity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Male Long-Term Mating Strategies The Problems of Paternity

2 Foundation of Male Mating Minimum investment  Considerably lower in human men than in women  In ancestral environment, men had relatively little to lose by copulating with a “less fit” partner  Male reproductive variance (e.g., Ismail the Bloodthirsty)

3 Why Invest At All? (1) If there is little cost to reckless mating, then why adopt a long-term strategy?  Benefits to offspring (survival, future reproductive success)  Paternity certainty  Non-committing men would have suffered in mating market

4 Parental effort  Proportion of total reproductive effort invested in rearing and defense of offspring Mating effort  Proportion of total reproductive effort invested in the acquisition & maintenance of sexual mates Parental and mating effort often conflict Why Invest At All? (2)

5 Reproductive Value While fertility in men may decrease over the lifespan, it does so only slightly Women, however, have a much smaller reproductive window Men should be attuned to signals of a woman’s reproductive value  Number of children a person of a certain age and sex is likely to have in the future

6 Cues of Youth & Health Men prefer  Slightly younger women than themselves  Particularly, women in peak reproductive age  Healthy women Tradeoff between fecundity and fertility for long-term investors

7 Beauty Standards May be both physical and behavioural People of all ages (including infants) are capable of discriminating beauty standards There is cross-cultural agreement on many standards (though variation as well)

8 Symmetry and Averageness Fluctuating asymmetry is a marker of developmental stability  Low FA is seen as attractive  Increases with age  May be associated with psychological characteristics as well Averageness is also preferred in mates

9 Waist-to-Hip Ratios (1) Proportion of body fat is a variable beauty standard across cultures At puberty, body fat distribution differs between boys & girls  In girls, fat is distributed around upper thighs, buttocks, and hips  This decreases the waist-to-hip ratio

10 Male range: Female range: WHR is negatively correlated with  Fertility  Health Has been demonstrated cross-culturally, though there is disagreement Waist-to-Hip Ratios (2)

11 Two Objections re: Ovulation Buss may have mislead you on two points 1. There is no evidence that concealed ovulation was selected for; rather, “advertised” ovulation probably evolved 2. There is no evidence that men can detect women in their ovulatory phase

12 Paternity Uncertainty Due to paternity uncertainty, men prefer  Premarital chastity  Sexual fidelity Mother & her family put great emphasis on reassuring father of his paternal status Men care more about the resemblance of offspring than women

13 Context Effects Man’s status & prestige  High standards  Greater age discrepancies Pin-ups & Centrefolds  Appear to have an effect of raising standards  Do not appear to elicit misogyny or violence, per se

14 The Wrap-Up Minimum investment Male parental investment Parental effort & mating effort Cues of youth & health  Symmetry, averageness, WHR Concealed vs. advertised ovulation Paternity uncertainty

15 Things to Come Short-term mating  Costs & benefits  Adaptive problems  Evidence


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