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Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour

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Introduction

Discuss the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behavior There are two consequences of anisogamy, intrasexual selection and intersexual selection. Intrasexual selection refers to the suggestion that males will compete amongst each other to mate with females. This results in some males proving their fitness and health over others, and therefore those males that emerge as winners of this intrasexual competition are more likely to be selected by females for mating. Size dimorphism is evidence of intrasecual selection and refers to the difference in size between male and females. Dimorphism is evidence of intrasexual selection and polygyny as it suggests that a makes fight for access to females. Dimorphism is not pronounced, which means polygyny is limited. Alpha males and sneak copulation are also evidence of intrasexual selection. The fact that males compete for dominance is supported by nonhuman animal hierarchies, which show that less dominant males engage in secretive copulation when the alpha male is unlikely to know about it. Sperm competition theory and the "testicular effect" proposed by Short who says that testicle size is related to the level of sperm competition. ...read more.

Middle

Such control increases the possibility that nay child the man rears is carrying his genes. Following on from this, males should protect their women by showing jealousy and should show greater concern about sexual infidelity since it reduces paternal certainty. Females should be more concerned emotional infidelity. Evidence for intersexual selection can be seen in studies by Buss, Davis and Clark and Hatfield. Buss did a survey across 37 cultures and found that males rated youth and physical attractiveness, and that females rated resources. Davis' study supports Buss' as Davis found gender differences in qualities emphasized in personal adverrtisements. Women tended to emphasise their physical attrativeness and desire for a high-status man, whereas men tented to indicate their resources and their desire for a younger physically attractive partner. This led Davis to conclude that women were looking for "success objects" and men were looking for "sex objects". Clark and Hatfield also supported intersexual selection as it provides evidence that females are more discerning than males. In this study male and female college students were approached by confederates and asked if they would sleep with them that night. ...read more.

Conclusion

Females often only had their appearance to rely upon to attract a male and the preference for men with resources may be due to social factors, which restricted the females' ability to provide for herself. Evolutionary explanations cannot account for females who do not want children, for males who bring up other men's children and for homosexual relationships. Love id ignored, which may be a more valid reason for sexual behaviour than reproduction. Evolutionary theorists predict that reproductive behaviour is consistent across time, when in fact changes do occur. For example, males are far more involved today in child rearing then they were even a generation ago. Evolutionary theory is able to offer a partial account of behaviour in terms of inherited behaviour characteristics, which provides the programming for a particular behaviour. However, they ignore the 'options' within that program, and human behaviour needs to be considered as multifactorial; that is, an interaction between nature and nurture. This is illustrated in a study be Strassberg were mate choices preferences were not as predicted. Strassberg's research on internet dating contradicts the traditional sexual stereotypes, fictitious ads were placed on an internet dating site, which advertised women as "very attractive", "passionate and sensitive", or "financially successful and ambitious". ...read more.

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