Human Mate Choice

Human Mate Choice - Human Mate Choice Tuesday, March 23,...

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Human societies have quite variable mating patterns Monogamy, Polygamy, Polyandry and polygyny (although last 2 are very rare) How do human societies mate? No societies allow regular matings between siblings or parents and offspring Several different mechanism may contribute to inbreeding avoidance Cultural stigma associated with inbreeding MHC sensitivity and Westermarck effect are both ways to prevent inbreeding How do humans prevent against inbreeding? Phenotypic cues about genetic similarity/kinship through olfactory senses, each human has a different scent due to different MHC MHC (major histocompatibility complex) sensitivity Women’s perceptions of male smells depends on MHC and hormonal status Experiment done of women smelling sweaty shirts and determining which was most pleasant, evidence shows humans respond to odor cues Also correlated to fertility and other biological cues More dissimilar genetic MHC = more attraction Less dissimilar genetic MHC = less attraction One female sniffed t-shirt of male relative (blind study), found male to be very unattractive MHC also affects sexual satisfaction, more dissimilar = more satisfaction Taking birth control will actually reverse this system How does the MHC sensitivity affect mate choice? How does the Westermarck effect affect mate choice? Westermarck effect = childhood association stifles sexual attraction
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Human Mate Choice - Human Mate Choice Tuesday, March 23,...

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