• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour (24marks)

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour (24marks) The Darwinian concept of sexual selection involves the notion that any physical trait that enhances reproductive success will be passed down and enhanced over time. Thus humans develop preferences for certain traits. Intra-sexual selection is the competition between males for access to the female. A consequence of such competition is that men have evolved larger, more triangular backs indicating strength, making the individual not only more attractive to the female, but also are more likely to get rid of other male opposition, an example of sexual selection at work. Inter-sexual selection is the choosiness of females when selecting a mate. Females invest more highly in their offspring, and as a consequence seek partners that can provide resources and protect them and their offspring from predators. ...read more.


There is significant support for this theory of sexual selection. Buss? analysis of lonely-hearts columns across 37 countries found that men seek fertility and attractiveness, whereas women seek resources and protection. Buss? findings are in line with theories of sexual selection, in addition, a strong cross-cultural agreement implies that these preferences were evolved during the EEA, rather than being learned preferences. However there are problems with this study, the use of personal ads in lonely-hearts columns compromises the reliability of the findings, as they may be unrepresentative. This is because it?s possible that these individuals lied or exaggerated their preferences, in order to be in line with cultural norms. It?s therefore not an overly reliable study. This theory could also be used to explain why some young boys are attracted to older women instead of women their own age. ...read more.


However, the evolutionary approach does raise alarming ethical concerns. This is because sexual selection theory justifies male infidelity and dismisses sexual assault and rape to be evolved and adaptive behaviors that were needed for reproductive success. In addition, in can also be viewed that sexual selection theories are very reductive, as they focus solely on human attraction for the purpose of offspring, which means that it doesn?t account for homosexuals (who cannot produce a child biologically related to both parents), as well as couples who choose to have no children or choose to adopt instead. Evolutionary theory does not suggest why these couples would be attracted to each other, as a child is not the end product of the attraction. As well as this, sexual selection theories place much of the emphasis on physical appearance in attraction, when it is clear attraction is also tied to personalities as well. Moreover, evolutionary theories suggests that the traits, which make someone ?attractive?, are universally agreeable, when it?s clear that not everyone finds the same people attractive. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Sexual Selection

    3 star(s)

    coloured, use make up, may take medication and wear good clothes to give a certain impression * So in humans we have a relatively long period of courtship that enables us to 'see through' any fake signals so that we can make a more informed choice * This is also

  2. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    However, children in the non-aggressive condition showed very little aggression towards the dolls. This supports the view that children learn specific acts of aggression and also learn increased aggressiveness through imitating models even when such models are not real.

  1. Discuss the relationship between human reproductive behaviour and sexual selection.

    He found men value partners in terms of their fecundity (ability to produce and care for offspring) which is expressed as youth and physical attractiveness. He also found females value men with cahracteristics related to resource potential i.e. ambition. Support from this comes from a study of women seeking sperm

  2. Psychology Questions Ansewered

    There is a danger in research of basing your methodology on irrelevant concepts. Ecological validity deals with how realistic the information the researcher is putting forward is. In this study concepts such as over lap cue, familiar size and perspective may not have been relevant to classifying persons as either two or three dimensional perceivers.

  1. Mate Selection and Preferences Across Decades

    According to Buss, Shackelford, Kirkpatrick, and Larsen (2001), technological advances would also mean that values and characteristics that people look for when selecting a partner have also evolved. For example, they also go on to state that economically, with more and more women entering the workforce, women now have greater

  2. Free essay

    ESSAY PLAN - Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour


  1. AQA A2 Psychology Unit 3 Relationships: The Relationship between Sexual Selection and Human Reproductive ...

    Research of Male Aggression Daly and Wilson (1988) - 90% of male murders involve men of mate-competition age. Buss and Dedden (1990) - Female verbal aggression is an attempt to reduce the apparent attractiveness of their competitors in the eyes of the males.

  2. Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour (24)

    The issue is, this study is only based on Americans, which means it suffers from cultural bias. In addition, kindness and intelligence was rated in higher importance from both sexes, this does not fit with the sexual selection theory. Furthermore, Singh et al found men preferred waist to hip ratio of 0.7 across cultures.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work