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Human Reproductive Behaviour

Unit 3: AQA Psychology A

Sean Hay

on 22 November 2012

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Transcript of Human Reproductive Behaviour

Human Reproductive Behaviour Inter Sexual Selection - Members of one sex competing for the attention of the opposite sex.

- Men look for young attractive females - a sign of fertility

- Women look for someone who offers resources that enhance chances of survival for them and their young (socio-economic)

The more attractive and desirable members of the species pass on the genes, physical attributes and behaviours

Buss Study (1989) The biological market place
Noe & Hammerstein (1995) Getting exactly what you want is unlikely - trade off - what you have against what they have (desirable traits)

What does the research say??
Women with youth and beauty and men with resources are most in demand

Waynforth and Dumbar (1995)
Relationship ads - men 40-49 seeked physical attractiveness whilst women 20-39 seeked wealth (4.5 times more than men) Intra Sexual Selection Members of the same sex compete against eachother for reproductive success. Buss (1989) 10000 people, 37 countries However.......... Strassberg and Holty (2003)

placed ads online for 'female seeking male' - the most popular advert was where the female described herself as 'financially independent, succesful and ambitious' Does this support or contradict research? Male Aggression Males often act aggressively towards other males they see as competition for their mate. Sperm Competition Males take care in ensuring their sperm is the one to fertilise the female egg especially when competing with others. Male tetis size Sperm Allocation Female Orgasm Intra Sexual Selection Female orgasms are not necessary for conception.
The contractions during orgasm pull the sperm closer to the egg.
The number of times a female copulates along with the timing, intensity and frequency of orgasm affects the outcome of sperm competition. Shackelford et al (2000)
German sample - females with more attractive men were more likely to reach orgasm during copulation

Pollet and Nettle (2009)
Chinese sample - orgasms increased with partners income - concluded that orgasms are an adaptive response promoting conception with higher quality males Starter Task Summarise the differences in relationships in western and non- western cultures No more than 3 sentences Explanation of female mate choice 2 theories put forward to explain female mate choice 'Sexy sons' Hypothesis
>populations could develop
preferences for certain characteristics
>mating with these characteristics
ensures they are passed on
>characteristics become the norm
>'sexy sons' created - desirable to others -
mothers genes passed on to sons mates
>over generations characteristics become more pronounced Handicap Process
>males that survive in spite of a handicap are genetically superior to other males (porsche = economic handicap)
>handicaps are seen as a badge of healthiness and are attractive to females Para-site mediated sexual selection There are two basic types of sexual selection - inter sexual and intra sexual Sexual selection is complicated and any charcteristics that maximise the ability to reproduce are likely to be passed on (natural selection) e.g. good immune system. Physical features and behaviours also play a role in making animals more attractive to the opposite sex. Evaluation - Out dated - Not all men look for women that are attractive with big hips!!!!! Not all women want rich men to have babies with!!!!!
- Doesn't explain homosexuality
- Has real life application - strongest genes passed on for survival
- Reductionist
- Nature v Nurture
- Unethical - perpetuates gender stereotypes - Its OK for me to sleep around and spread their genes!!
- Scientific - gene based explanation
- Supporting evidence for certain features of the explanations - some of this is hard to extrapoltae as its from animal research.
- Contradicting evidence - fails to explain why step fathers would pay for step sons, online adverts 'female seeking male'
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