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Discuss the relationship between human reproductive behaviour and sexual selection.

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Psychology Essay. Discuss the relationship between human reproductive behaviour and sexual selection. An important feature of most sexually reproducing species is that males are more brightly coloured than females. Darwin believed the reason for this lay in female choice. If a particular characteristic becomes a universal preference among females then those males possessing the best examples of it will be picked. This pressure encourages competition. This is a basic sexual selection that any trait that increases reproductive success will become more exaggerated over time. The nature of sexual selection can be found in gender-speciifc criteria. In our evolutionary past, men who selected mates low in reproductive capacity (older, less healthy females) enjoyed a lower reproductive success than those who chose females with high reproductive capacity and vice versa. Also those females who selected males who were unable or unwilling to invest resources in them and their offspring enjoyed lower reproductive success. But since women have to make greater investment in offspring they are more choosy about a mate. This female choosiness (intersexual selection) means males have to compete with eachother (intrasexual competition) ...read more.


As a result the males evolve larger testicles, ejaculate more and have faster swimming sperm. An example of this is chimpanzees. But gorrillas are monogamus, as they have only one partner. There is reduced competition and have small testicles in relation to their body size. Male humans have medium sized testicles suggesting there was some competition so females must have had multiple partners. Sexual selection is often related to physical charateristics. Sexual dimorphism (physical differences between the sexes) can help bring about a female's choice. The size differences between males and females suggests our species evolved under a polygynous competition (one male and many females), with more intense male competition, Martin. In relation to facial characteristics, the more neotenous (child-like) a females face is universally the more attractive they are perceived. Males faces with such features as string jaws and larger noses comes across more attractive. Facial symmetry is important as it is associated with the absence of harmful mutations. Sexual selection has also been linked to mental evolution. In many species neophilia (love of novelty) is linked to sexual selection. ...read more.


This further conforms the reproductive success hypothesis. The view that human behaviour can be explained in terms of selective pressures is by no means universally accepted. We know very little about the EEA. It is likely human nature has continued to evolve in the intervening 10 000 years, given huge changes is our social and physical environment. Indicators are a good genetic quality, but can be faked easily. Red lipstick and collagen to make lips look fuller and therefore female to look younger can be seen to deceive males. In the animal world, the best indicators are those that are "handicaps" because only a characteristic that is costly can be reliable. If it is not costly it can be easily faked, and offspring of such matings will not increase fitness. In humans faial symmetry is a good indicator as it is diffecult to fake. Support that humans are more promiscuous than monogamus from Baker and Bellis suggested a worldwide median rate that 9% of fathers are not actually genetically related. It was also indicated that 29% of people admitted to cheating. But we should not overlook the majority of people did know who their father was and majority of people have not cheated challenges the idea. ...read more.

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