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CHAPTER 4 Women’s Long Term Mating Strategies. Theoretical Background Parental Investment Theory Females are a valuable reproductive asset  Gametes 

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 4 Women’s Long Term Mating Strategies. Theoretical Background Parental Investment Theory Females are a valuable reproductive asset  Gametes "— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 4 Women’s Long Term Mating Strategies

2 Theoretical Background Parental Investment Theory Females are a valuable reproductive asset  Gametes  Pregnancy  Lactation  Nurturing How is sex more risky for women? Is this still true today?

3 Predictions From Parental Investment Theory 1. The more investing sex (females) will be more selective about mating than the less investing sex 2. The less investing sex (males) will be more competitive for sexual access to the high investing sex (females).

4 Problems Women Face Selecting men who possess attributes that confer benefits Avoiding men who possess liabilities Detecting deception in potential mates Integrating various inputs into a weighted decision about whether to accept or reject a potential mate

5 What Women Want in a Long term Mate: Resources Resources- is he willing and able to invest?  Financial prospects  Status  Age  Ambition  Dependable and stable

6 Protection Athletic prowess Height Strength Build

7 Health Symmetry: developmental stability Facial features; masculinity  May signal healthier immune system

8 Bad Boy or Baby Face?

9 Love and Commitment Expressions of commitment Fidelity Resource sharing Emotional support

10 Willingness to Invest in Children Men’s desire for sexual variety may lead them to channel resources elsewhere Men withhold investment when they are less sure of paternity Women prefer long term partners who show interest in children Women can detect men’s interest in children by looking at their faces

11 Brief Summary- What do Women Want? Character traits  Signal ability and willingness to invest  Signal ability to protect  Signal long-term cooperation Health  Symmetry and masculinity may be cues to health  Looks less important than character in long-term mates

12 Similarity Long-term relationships require long term cooperation Similarity is important in  Values  Political orientation  Worldview  Intelligence  Personality

13 Humor, Incest Avoidance, and Voice Why do women like men who make them laugh? Incest avoidance: both men and women Voice: women prefer deeper voices, but more for short-term mating

14 Context Effects on Mating Preferences: What About Women who Have Plenty of Resources Already? Structural powerlessness hypothesis: Do women prefer resources simply because women lack power Even in societies where women have power and resources, they still expect it from men More successful women place a higher premium on resources

15 Menstrual Cycle Effects Masculine features preferred more at fertile phase Symmetry preferred more during fertile phase Women change dress and behavior during fertile phase Stripper study: strippers earn more tips during fertile phase

16 What About The Woman’s Mate Value? Women who perceive themselves to be more attractive are more attracted to masculine features for long-term mating Younger and more attractive women have more criteria for long-term mates

17 Examining Actual Behaviors In personal advertisements, women respond more to  Older menand taller men  More educated men  Men with higher incomes Physical attractiveness of wife correlates with husband’s status Women marry men who are on average about 3 years older Men compete on the characteristics that women prefer, and deceive women on those characteristics Exposure to attractive women causes men to value things that women prefer

18 The Problems with Decision Making The evolution of love (Helen Fisher) testosterone- lust dopamine- romance oxytocin-attachment Sex and romance feed each other- both suppress critical areas of brain General arousal can accelerate feelings of romantic attraction Birth control pills may inhibit evaluation mechanisms early in a relationship


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