social evolution 2

social evolution 2 - Discuss Recent Evidence for Adaptive...

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Discuss Recent Evidence for Adaptive Mate Choice in Humans Principles of evolution have assisted explanations for mate choice. Sexual selection or mate choice in humans is adaptive; choice is dependent on a number of varying and evolved physiological and psychological traits. Different social behaviours as well as Darwinian models of sexual selection and mating strategies contribute to how mate choice is both biologically and socially adaptive. Mate choice may be adjust cross-culturally due to different environments and societal pressures. However, studies have also indicated how there are vague universal preferences in mate choice. Studies on human mate choice have increased over the past decade and anthropology has assisted in this by looking at both biological and social evolution and discussing how mate choice may be similar but may also differ cross- culturally. Although previous research, such as that by Darwin, Buss and Trivers, is still useful and credible, new studies have built on the foundations of this research and established how adaptive mate choice in humans works through particular social, visual, olfactory and auditory preferences (Roberts and Little, 2008). For Darwin, sexual selection and strategies involved in enticing and choosing a mate were for the purpose of demonstrating worth over opponents of the same sex. Such displays in the natural world would assure high-quality genetics and would therefore be chosen and continued in the gene pool (Darwin, 1859). However, mate choice may differ depending on the type of partner one is searching for. Although Darwin’s ideas are logical and make sense in the natural world, human societies are far more complex. Recent research has illuminated how males of lower quality may be chosen to secure a long-term relationship and resources (Buss, 1989 and Gangestad and Simpson, 2000). In these studies (following) there are many conflicting views of what men and women find attractive and how mate choice has become adaptive – assessing the costs and benefits of prospective partners.
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The physical beauty and attractiveness of a person can be the stimulus for mate choice. Earlier studies on what men and women want physically revealed the following: women desired men with strong masculine facial features, such as a defined lower-jaw, prognathic nose and brow and facial hair, in comparison men preferred women with large eyes, full lips, small nose, good skin texture and lustrous hair (Buss, 1989). These preferences were correlated from an extensive study on 37 cultures, from 33 countries, across 6 continents and may be used as a universal model of mate choice (Buss, 1989). From this study it can be understood that mate choice for women is generally a man displaying dominance, virility and the ability to provide; in comparison men looked for women who were young and healthy and would therefore have greater fertility and fecundity. These traits are adaptive as men and women choose partners who display the greatest chance for their offspring. Attractiveness can be attributed to the shape and composition of the face. Additionally,
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social evolution 2 - Discuss Recent Evidence for Adaptive...

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