PSY1 Notes8 - Why Is There Sex Hedge against environmental...

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Why Is There Sex? Hedge against environmental change No current reason for humans – phylogenetic inertia Protection against pathogens – Red Queen hypothesis The Sexes and Sexual Selection “Female” – sex that makes the larger parental investment per gamete. “Male” – sex that makes the smaller parental investment per gamete. Sexual selection – a type of natural selection in which members of one sex compete for reproductive access to members of the other sex. The means of competition can be structural or behavioral, and often lead to sexual dimorphism. Sexual Dimorphism In most of animal kingdom, females are much bigger than males. One major exception is in species with proportionally large brains. In those species, males compete for females with displays of strength and prowess. Females choose mates based in part on these displays o Overt female choice o Cryptic female choice Mating Systems Monogamy - pair-bonding Polygamy – one animal has many mates o Polyandry – one female mates with many males o Polygyny – (harem) – one male mates with many females Promiscuity
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Some Features of Human Mating System I Mostly monogamy with some polygyny Male > Female Preference for sexual variety o More diverse arousal patterns Fetishes Exhibitionism Criminal patterns: rape, child sexual abuse o Numbers of partners - - males are: less picky about people less careful about circumstances Mating systems: Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (186 Cultures) Most human cultures allow polygyny In those cultures, polygyny is restricted to the well-to-do minority, and most men in these cultures have only one wife. Overall, the vast majority of marriages are monogamous. In every society studied to date, female extramarital sex is considered an offense against her husband, and is often grounds for murder of wife and/or lover.
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