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Chapter 5 Men’s Long-Term Mating Strategies Claire Brabec Fall 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 5 Men’s Long-Term Mating Strategies Claire Brabec Fall 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 5 Men’s Long-Term Mating Strategies Claire Brabec Fall 2006

2 Chapter Overview Theoretical background on men’s mate preferences –Commitment and marriage –Assessing a woman’s fertility and reproductive value Content of men’s mate preferences –Youth –Evolved standards of beauty Emerge early in life Consistent across cultures Average and symmetrical faces more attractive Brain centers for beauty Sex differences in the importance of appearance –Body fat and WHR –Ovulating women –Solutions to paternity uncertainty

3 Chapter Overview Effects of context on men’s mating behavior –Men in positions of power Why do they get younger women? –Viewing attractive models Advertisements Real women? Effects of men’s preferences on actual mating behavior –Response to personal ads –Age preferences and marital decisions Preferred age of wife decreases in later marriages –Women’s attraction tactics Enhancing appearance Derogating a rival’s appearance Derogating a rival’s sexual fidelity

4 Why do men marry? Women require reliable signs of commitment before consenting to sex Men can attract more appealing women if they demonstrate that they are willing to commit Increased paternal certainty Increased survival of children Increased reproductive success of children through paternal investment

5 An Important Concept For Understanding Chapter 5 ** In order to be reproductively successful, men needed to develop preferences for qualities that signify a woman’s reproductive value **

6 Reproductive Value The number of children a person of a given age and sex is likely to have in the future Expected future reproduction

7 Fertility A person’s actual reproductive performance, measured by the number of viable offspring s/he produces Men can father children throughout their lives Fertility peaks at mid-twenties for women

8 Problem: Concealed Ovulation - The reproductive value of human women cannot be viewed directly by men. - Possible theories for why concealed ovulation evolved.

9 The Content of Men’s Mate Preferences ** It is important to remember that in a long- term mating context, the differences between men’s and women’s preferences decrease. Most of the differences observed between men and women occur in a short- term mating context, which Kristin will discuss next week.

10 YOUTH Age is probably the cue that is utilized most by men when choosing a mate. Youth is highly linked to fertility, because a woman’s reproductive value steadily declines after she reaches age 20. Therefore, younger women are usually more preferable than older women (in terms of men choosing a long-term mate).

11 Male Age Preferences for Short-Term and Long-Term Mating Article Discussion: Young et al. Do men prefer fertility (short-term mating) or future reproductive value (long-term mating)? Results and support of presented theory: Why was the desired age for a brief sexual encounter higher than that for the age of marriage? Do you think sexual fantasies actually “release” men from social constraints of age-appropriate sexual partners?

12 Waist-to-Hip Ratio Most variable standard of beauty Cultural influence? Before puberty, the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) for both sexes is between After puberty, men’s WHR stays the same, while women’s decreases. A healthy woman has a WHR of Men have developed a preference for women with a lower WHR because it is one cue of fertility.

13 Waist-to-Hip Ratio And Body Mass Index - Correlation - Hourglass shape - Gynoid vs. Android fat deposits - BMI for societies with less nutrition - WHR for societies with more nutrition

14 Differences in Men’s Preferred Female Body Shape

15 Article Discussion: Fundamentals Human Mating Strategies: Men’s Strategies Bridgeman (p ) Men’s Strategies: Beauty and Fertility Virginity and Disease Investment in children Postmarriage Strategies Similarities and differences with book Summary of main points so far

16 Standards of Beauty Beauty or physical attractiveness is another cue men might use in order to assess a woman’s reproductive value Men tend to rate physical attractiveness as more important than women do. This seems to be “the product of a species-wide psychological mechanism that transcends cultural variation” (Buss, p.149).

17 Standards of Beauty Skin Clear, smooth skin is a sign of good health Hair Longer hair indicates good health Facial Symmetry Research indicates people prefer symmetrical faces over asymmetrical faces Cleanliness and freedom from disease are universally attractive

18 TLC’s What Not To Wear : Meet Melissa Melissa, an N.Y.P.D. officer, chooses to dress just like her twin when she's not walking her beat; problem is, her twin is her brother. She hides herself in oversized men's clothes and wears pants that are at least two sizes too big for her. Melissa has a huge collection of lumpy sweaters, and her hairstyle mostly consists of a ponytail.

19 TLC’s What Not To Wear : Meet the new Melissa Stacy and Clinton lay down the law with Melissa and make her get rid of her oversized clothes. They instruct Melissa to wear women's clothing and to dress for success. Stacy and Clinton encourage Melissa to use colors different from her skin tone and to stay away from horizontal stripes on sweaters and shirts. Stylist Nick Arrojo keeps Melissa in the blonde family but adds fine highlights to create dimension. Then he uses a razor to cut layers, giving Melissa a softer, more manageable style. Since Melissa's job requires her to always be on the run, Carmindy gives her tips on how to apply makeup quickly, including using lip gloss with a tint of color so that she is always shining and looking her best.

20 Hair Process: Blonde highlights in the hair create more dimension in hair color and soften out the natural virgin hair. Razor cut into a shorter, fringier layer cut to get away from helmet effect. This technique gives the hair more body and wispiness, and will effect a softer, carefree, and feminine look. Use KMS Molding Paste on the ends of the hair to give definition to the ends. For added finish, apply a slight spritz of non-aerosol spray to hold and control the hair. Makeup Process: Even out skin tone with Cinema Secrets foundation. Apply Mac blot powder. Brush Body & Soul eye shadow in Champagne across entire eyelid. Apply Mac Mulch eye shadow halfway across outside part of eyelid. Curl eyelashes with "Japonesque" curler. Apply Maybelline's Great Lash mascara in black on top and bottom. Use Giorgio Armani lipgloss #7. Apply Benefit Benetint on apples.

21 Context Effects on Men’s Mating Behavior Men in positions of power Why do they get younger women? Resources / Income Status / Occupation Discussion: Why are these men so appealing to younger women, given the fact that they may have not shown many signs of commitment to other women?

22 Context Effect on Men’s Mating Behavior: Women In Advertisements Viewing attractive models Advertisements exploit men’s preferences in order to be more successful in sales Real women? Can models make men unhappy with actual partner? Can models cause unhealthy competition between women?

23 Women In Advertisements “So what men see are the most attractive women in the most attractive pose with the most attractive background in the most attractive airbrushed photograph.” (Buss, p.157).

24 Women in Advertisements Buss asserts, “These images [of women in advertisements] do not represent real women in our actual social environment…As a consequence of viewing such images [of women] men may become dissatisfied with, and less committed to, their mates. The potential damage inflicted by these images affects women as well because they create a spiraling and unhealthy competition with other women” (p.157). Any contradiction there? Why do you think “unhealthy competition” happens?

25 Women in Advertisements Article Discussion: Applying Evolutionary Psychology in Understanding the Representation of Women in Advertisements G. Saad. (2004) Agree or disagree? Are advertisers just trying to exploit men’s preferences (Buss, p.157) or is there something else going on?

26 Context Effects on Men’s Mating Behavior: Women’s Tactics “ Men are infinitely suggestible. Never plant anything in their minds about the beauty of other women. But be sure never to claim another woman is ugly either, for he will not agree with you, and by suggesting plainness you provoke him to her defense. It is a strategic error to mention other women at all.” - Le Mariage, p. 307

27 Women’s Tactics For Attracting Men Enhancing appearance (deception?) Derogating a rival’s appearance Derogating a rival’s sexual fidelity Class discussion: What are some examples of these tactics? How aware are we as a culture that these types of phenomena occur?

28 Men’s Solutions to Paternity Uncertainty In choosing a marriage partner, men need to recognize fidelity cues Women never value chastity more than men Best predictor of extramarital sex is premarital sexual permissiveness Unfaithfulness is the worst thing a women can do to her husband (in an evolutionary psychological sense) Women’s sexual desires peak around ovulation Marriage a way to maximize reproductive value while also keeping spouse monogamous

29 Fidelity vs. Fertility Discussion Topic: Do you think men prefer fidelity or fertility more in women? Support of one or other from evolutionary psychological theory Support from in other areas Real-life application – examples?

30 Interesting Issues Brought Up In Chapter 5 Neuropsychological basis of beauty fMRI: Reward centers in men’s brain activated when they looked at beautiful women Men in Positions of Power Are movie and rock stars the modern “kings” because they attract and date younger women? Swedish women Why does the independence of Swedish women cause Swedish men to not value chastity as much as men in other cultures?

31 Actual Mating Behavior Marital decisions 1 st marriage = man is 3 yrs. older 2 nd marriage = man is 5 yrs. older 3 rd marriage = man is 8 yrs. Older Is this good evidence to support the idea that as men get older, they prefer younger women? Women’s attraction tactics Personal ads

32 Personal Advertisements

33 What did you find? Real-world application: Personal advertisements Scavenger Hunt: We are going to go to the library to find some pictures of men and women and/or more personal ads in order to see if this type of evidence actually supports evolutionary psychological theory.

34 Refereneces Barrett, L., Dunbar, R., & Lycett, J. (2002). Human evolutionary psychology. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Bridgeman. Male strategies Buss, D. (2004). Evolutionary psychology: The new science of the mind. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. Hoffnung, M. (2005). Review. Saad, G. (2004). Applying evolutionary psychology in understanding the representation of women in advertisements. Psychology & Marketing, 21, Schmitt, D. P. (2005). Fundamentals of human mating strategies. In Buss, D. (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp ). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Singh, D. (2006). An evolutionary theory of female physical attractiveness. Eye on Psi Chi, 10, Young, J. A., Critelli, J. W., & Keith, K. W. (2005). Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating. Sexualities, Evolution & Gender, 7,


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