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Flashcards in Sexual Selection Deck (10)
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Inter-sexual selection

mate choice. Where members of both sexes have evolved to prefer certain traits in one another. For example, in a peacock the plumage and in humans the economic resources one has.


Intra-sexual selection

mate competition. Members of one sex compete with each other for access to members of the opposite sex.


Short term mating preferences

Males tend to seek sex earlier in a relationship and have a greater desire for casual sex as opposed to serious sex. Males who have been able to impregnate a large number of women are more likely to be able to pass on their genes, however, this isn't the case for women who would only be able to produce a single child.


Male preferences for younger women

Because of the fact that the younger the women, the greater the fertility, males want to increase short-term reproductive success and hence are concerned with looking for females with qualities that suggest fertility e.g. large eyes, small nose and full lips. HOWEVER, some critics have suggested that males prefer younger women because they are easier to control. BUT this has been rejected as a study found teenage males are more attracted to women who are 5+ older despite them not being controlled at all.


Long term mating preferences

Poor long term mating could be disastrous for both as it means a waste of valuable resources. Women are more attracted to males who; are able to invest resources into them and their offspring, who are able to physically protect them, who show promise as a good parent, who are compatible. Women also look for men who have masculine features e.g. a square jaw to show a strong immune system


The logic of sexual selection

Being choosy requires time and energy however, it does pay to be picky. Choosing a high quality mate means there is a bigger chance of higher quality offspring who can pass those genes on and so forth.


Mate choice and menstrual cycle

Women chose a slightly feminised version of a male face as 'most attractive' for a long term relationship. However, for a short term relationship, the preference was more masculine. A female might chose a mate who is feminised to promote kindness an cooperation but masculine too at times when conception is most likely.


What are the 5 evaluation points for this topic?

Mate choice and the menstrual cycle
The logic of sexual selection
Males preferences for younger women
Validity of Buss


Buss and gender

Buss found that females preferred a high status male whereas men preferred a younger,prettier woman. This shows clear evolved sex differences based on sexual selection. It shows an inbuilt mechanism that causes people to show preference to certain characteristics.


Validity of Buss

Buss's research shows the preferences of people rather than the reflection of what actually happens. However, real life studies have supported his findings. A study of marriages confirmed that men do choose younger women to marry, increasing internal validity.