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Flashcards in Evolutionary explanations Deck (19):

What is intra-sexual selection?

Members of one sex compete (within the sex) for access to the other sex, leading to male-female dimorphism - whereby other sexual characteristics can be increased e.g. broad shoulders and size


What is inter-sexual selection?

One sex chooses from (between) a group of potential mates according to attractiveness


How does the process of natural selection work?

Genes can undergo a mutation, which helps the individual to survive, and so reproduce. The offspring will also have this mutation, and it will become more widespread over time


What does the evolutionary explanation believe about the differences between the sexes?

Men and women employ different strategies for attracting a mate


What are the male strategies for finding a partner?

- Courtship rituals - showing off genetic resources/potential, e.g. paying for drinks, wearing nice clothes.
- Size - bigger bodies demonstrate physical strength and an ability to protect partner and offspring from threats.
- Sperm competition - men have evolved to have bigger testicles and faster swimming sperm.
- Mate guarding - keeping a close eye on partners to prevent unfaithfulness.
- Sneak copulation - being unfaithful despite being in an exclusive relationship.


What are the female strategies for finding a partner?

- Sexy Sons Hypothesis - females select males they deem physically attractive as they are likely to pass this onto their children, increasing the offspring's chance of reproducing.
- Handicap Hypothesis - some women may pick men with handicaps as it shows an ability to thrive despite adversities. For example, men who take drugs and drink a lot.
- Courtship - dating is an important strategy for females to establish a man's worth to produce offspring.


What is the conflict of interest found in men and how does this affect the choices made by women?

A man can enhance his fitness by investing in his children OR maximising his number of mates, but it would be difficult to do both, and so two types of men are found (Cads and Dads)

Should she try to secure an investing male or content herself with getting good genes and immediate resources?


What are Cads and Dads?

Cads: Low investment males seeking to maximise mating opportunities

Dads: High investment males committed to one partner


What characteristics do men look for in women?

Younger women: Signals fertility, health and will also have more time to look after the offspring

Larger hip-to-waist ratios (0.7 is the desired) are associated with greater reproductive ability (child-bearing hips). A small waist also suggests that a woman is not already pregnant

Symmetry - A symmetrical face requires genetic precision, therefore symmetrical faces are more attractive to people. This extends to breasts


What characteristics do women look for in men?

Symmetry - A symmetrical face requires genetic precision, therefore symmetrical faces are more attractive to people

Men with bigger resources, someone who can provide for the family. Kindness is also attractive, as it suggests a tendency to share resources


What is sexual dimorphism?

The different characteristics that male and female humans possess


What did Buss find?

Looked at 37 different cultures and found that men prefer younger, physically attractive females and females prefer ambitious and older men with vast resources


What did Lycett and Dunbar find?

While women kept their phones in their bags in pubs and cafes, men would display them by placing them on the table in front of them, much like the peacock and its tail, as a display of wealth


What did Clark and Hatfield find?

50% of men and women agreed to go out with a complete stranger, but a staggering 75% of men agreed to go to the female's apartment, and 69% agreed outright to casual sex with the stranger compared to very few women


Who suggested the biological market theory? Explain it

Noe and Hammerstein: Biological markets govern exchanges between individuals who offer different commodities. The value of this commodity depends on how many others are offering the same commodity and its quality. Therefore men are better in a country with less women and vice versa


What types of relationship cannot be explained by evolutionary theory?

Homosexual and long-distance relationships


What is most early sneak copulation research based on and what does this mean?

Questionnaires and blood samples, so is unreliable


Why does the handicap hypothesis not make sense?

There is an increased chance of death and cessation of resources


Why is there a conflict between natural and sexual selection?

Some sexual characteristics may inhibit other characteristics that encourage our survival