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A2 Psychology - Relationships lesson 3

Parent investment
by

Amanda Lane

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of A2 Psychology - Relationships lesson 3

A2 Psychology - Parental Investment theory
Lesson Objective:
The assess the notion that parental investment theory is linked to reproductive behaviour
Parental investment
Trivers (1972) identified that 'an investment by the parent in an individual offspring that increases its chance of survival at the cost of the ability to invest in other offspring'.
A females level of investment is far greater than a male as their eggs are only available during certain times of the month and can only have a limited amount of offspring.
Males can (potentially!) have an infinite number of offspring as their sperm is greater in quantity and occurs more frequently!
Maternal Investment
Females will invest more time and effort into rearing children than men. Why? Because female know that they are the mother of that child.... men cannot be certain!
Paternal Investment
Males can 'opt out' of parental investment in a way that females cannot. Males expend a lot of energy in courtship and mating ritual so can afford to 'step back' in the parenting
'Cuckoldry'
The idea that men are vulnerable to use up their 'resources' raising children who are not their own
This is why men are 'sexually' jealous.. a coping mechanism too prevent cuckoldry!
And women are 'emotionally' jealous as they try to protect themselves from having their man shift their resources to someone else!
But why?
Because women have high levels of parental investment, they channel all of their resources (and those of the male!) into nurturing their offspring.
Men on the other hand having little parental offspring, focus their efforts into reproducing many offspring to ensure reproductive success
But what about stepchildren?
According to Anderson et al (1999) despite knowing that a child is not his, a male may invest in a stepchild to ensure a possibility of further offspring from the mother of the child by showing he is a good provider.
How would you evaluate the parent investment model?
Geher et al (2007) suggests that 'lad mags' are responsible for creating a generation of 'feckless fathers' who relinquish their parental investment. What do you think?
Check your understanding.....
Q1) What is the difference between natural selection and sexual selection?

Q2) According to sexual selection theory what do males look for in a mate and why?

Q3) According to sexual selection theory what do females look for in a mate and why?

Q4) What is 'sperm competition' and what does it tell us about reproductive behaviour in females?

Q5) Why are there sex differences in parental investment theory?

Q6) How would you evaluate the sexual selection theory?

Q7) Why are females less likely to engage in casual sex?
Full transcript