Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mate Value and Selection

The lecture that we discussed in class was truly inspiring. The way we select our mates in a rather complex way, can show that it can be innate. A reason for this is that we wish to procreate with one who will provide the best genes for future offspring. This does not necessarily make sense, as we are out in the dating world, however, many science experiments have been showing that the way we choose our mates can go deeper. Voice, physical attractiveness, along with personal attributes, such as being financially stable and loyal, are some out of the many reasons on how we choose a partner. What makes this an innate instinct is that various experiments have shown that some physical and emotional characteristics can cause us to choose a particular selection.
The voice, for example, has a lot to do with whom we mate with. In the video shown in class, males rated females with higher pitched voices to be more attractive than others with lower pitched voices. The catch behind it was that the voices they rated more attractive than others were actually from the same female, however, at different stages of her menstrual cycle. When the female was at her more fertile point in the cycle, her voice pitch was higher, ultimately creating more attractiveness. This is one example of how we subconsciously choose mates for the matter of procreation.
Another interesting scenario in which we mate, is through smell. In a video that I found, an experiment was conducted to show that the smell of a woman can create more attractiveness. The thought behind this concept was that finding a mate with genes that do not match the other mate creates a healthier offspring. With this information, a woman would smell more attractive, should her genes and a partner's genes not match, or match very slightly. A smell that would not be attractive, the pairs genes would have a higher matching rate. In the experiment, six women wore a tee shirt for two nights in a row. They then placed the shirt in a sealed plastic bad and put into a freezer. Once ready, the tee shirts were placed into jars, labeled A through F. Both the man doing the smelling and all six women were tested for their matching of genes. The man sniffed all six jars and rated their attractiveness of smell. The jars in which he did not find to have an attractive aroma, were from women that his genes primarily matched with (which ultimately is not beneficial for healthy offspring). The jars that he did enjoy the scent from, were shown to be from woman whom did not match his genes (which is beneficial for healthy babies). Mate selection is extremely complex and fascinating to know how we primarily choose a partner!

The video of the scent experiment is below. It is subtitled in another language, but is entertaining, nonetheless.

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