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WJEC PY2 Buss Sex differences in human mate preferences

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nigel cannar

on 23 March 2013

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Transcript of WJEC PY2 Buss Sex differences in human mate preferences

Buss (1989) Sex Differences If a particular characteristic becomes established as a universal preference among females, then males who posses the best example of that characteristic will have greater reproductive succsess, E.g a peacocks tail. Any trait that increases the reproductive successs of an individual will be selected and become more and more exaggerated over evolutionary time. What is sexual selection? Aims and Context Predictions based on parental investment and sexual selection theory: Trivers (1972) The fact that woman invest more time into reproduction means that they will be fussier in their mate choice. It also means that women's selection should be influenced by their ability to contribute to childrearing (e.g. food, shelter, territory, protection) - in modern terms this theory suggests that women will favour ambition, hard-working and rich men who are most likely to be able to look after them and their children. In humans, females invest more time and energy in reproduction than men. Men can invest just a few minutes to impregnate a woman who then carries the child through pregnancy, and takes the majority of the responsibility of child rearing into adulthood. These primarily affect males' choices of females because for men, access to fertile females is the major factor affecting their chances of reproducing. for males, reproduction is limited by acces to reproductivity. reproductive value is measured in expected future reproduction while fertility is described as the current ability to reproduce Predictions based on reproductive value (Symons, 1979)
and fertility (Williams, 1975) In humans, reproductive value peaks in mid-teens while fertility peaks in mid-twenties and both decline from then on with age (Thornhill and Thornhill 1983) Younger females would have higher reproductive value, while the older female would have higher fertility Youthfulness would be an indicator of ferility and reproductive value - this could be signalled by physical characteristics (such as smooth skin, goode muscle tone, lustrous hair and full lips) and by behaioural indicators (such as high energy levels and sprightly gait). In species where males invest parentally, when selection should favour those males who ensure that any effort is directed towards their own offspring that then those of another male. Prediction based on paternity probability (Daly et al, 1982) Both reproductive value and fertility differ across cultures depending on culture norms, contraception and mortality raters, but in all cultures these factors are strongly age dependant (William 1975). Female reproductive success is not so closely related to obtaining fertile mates. Male fertility is less age-graded from puberty than female fertility. Physical appearance should be less central to female male selection Fertility in females peaks in late teens or early twenties and obviously the younger the woman, the longer she is likely to remain fertile. This approach predicts that men will favour younger woman. This approach also suggests that facial attractiveness in women will be important to men as facual appearance gives clues to age, and therefore gives clues to fertility and reproductive value. Sexual jealousy is a means of increasing parenity probability. it functions to 'guard' their mate and dissuade male competitors. Preference for chastity in a potential mate is another mechanism of paternity probability. Females have les need for chastity because they can be certian of their own parenthood. However it is possible that male sexual experience may signal that the male might have to share resources between a number of females and therefore chastity may also be an important signal for females. Buss wanted to use a cross-cultureal desgin to test the sexual attractions between male and female. Aims Regardless of culture, women would tend to prefer men who were ambitious, industrial and financially well off Regardless of culture, men would prefer younger, attractive women and chaste women. 37 samples were taken from 33 countries, located on six continents and five islands which created a total number of 10,047 participants. Procedures This was a survery of mate preferneces in a number of cultures (Cross cultural). A questionnaire was used to gather information. The samples varied in size from 55 in iran to 1,491 in USA (mainland) and all apart from the iranian sample exceeded 100 participants. This means sample size was 272 participants. the age of participants in the sample groups ranged from 16.96 years in New Zealand to 28.71 in West Germany. The mean age of the overall sample was 23.05 years. in countires where more than one ethnic group was present resulted in more than one sample (i.e in Canada a sample of french and English speakers was used. Sampling procedures: In Estonia, the sampling consisted of couples applying for a marriage licence and high school students. In Venezuela, the sampling consisted of every fifth household in a series of neighbourhoods that vaired in socio-econiomic classes. In South Africa, the Zulu sample consisted of a rural population, some of which had the questions read aloud to them. In West Germany, the sampling was selected throgu newspaper advertisements. In New Zealand the sampling consisted of high school students taken from three schools. Occasionally, questionnaires needed to be amended to reflect the cultural differences of the various cultures. in Nigeria, polygny is practiced, so questions had to be added to reflect the possibility of multipul wives while few couples marry in Sweden (they live together). Data collection: The research data was collected in most cases by native residents of each country and mailed to the USA for analysis. Research collaborators were unaware of the central hypotheses of the investigation, and were also trained over the phone by Buss. This is a blind study, which eliminates demand charactoristics or experimenter bias. The Questionnaire consisted of two measuring instruments. The Questionnaire: Instrumental 1: Rating Part 1: Biographical data Age, sex, religion, mariral status, number of brothers and sisters. Part 2: Mate Preferences Information on the age at which respondent preferred to marry; preferred age difference between self and spouse; whome the respondent preferred to be older; and how many children were desired Part 3: Rating Scale A four point rating scale from 3 (indispensable) to 0 (irrelevant/unimportant) where participants had to rate 18 characteristics, amongst which were the target variables: good finance prospects, good looks, chastity and ambition and industriousness. Instrumental 2: Ranking The second instrument consisted of 13 characteristics. Participants were asked to rank them on their desirability in someone they might want to marry. Rank '1' was given to the most desirable characteristic, '13' to the 13th most desirable characteristic in a potential mate. interspersed among the 13 characteristics were the target variables: good earning capactiy and physically attractive. Translations: Research collaborations had the test of employing three bilingual speakers - one translated the questionnaire from English into the native language, the second translated the answers back into English - and the third resolved any disrepancies. The translators were instructed to make sure all the terms were 'neautral' rather than useing words that might be linked to a specific sex. For example, 'Physically attractive' is sexually neautral, whereas 'Handsome' and 'Beautiful' are sex-linkes www.homepage.psy.utexas.edu/homepage/group/bussLAB/measures.htm
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