Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Selecting a Mate

  The selection processes between mates is actually interesting.  According to our notes, one sex selects an individual from the other sex for mating based on some trait of the latter.  This is called "Sexual Selection."  One of the main characteristics that is of great value is attractiveness (surprise, surprise).  Those with higher physical attractiveness are better at attracting mates and have more sexual experiences usually.  You also look for mate value when searching for a partner.  Mate Value is a persons characteristics that make him or her desirable to another person as their partner.  It seems to me that when selecting a mate, it is not something that may be "magical," but somewhat of an expression of an individual's need or want in life. Many individuals choose their partners based on previous life experiences, relationships and other situations that have happened in their lives.  I have heard many times that people choose partners that are similar to their own parents. 

  We also learned about Gene Hypothesis.  Gene Hypothesis is "beauty signals that the person has good genes for intelligence, good immune system, healthy babies, and good parenting."  This is one feature that the female mate seeks in the male mate. This is a big deal for many women, actually.  
*HIGH vs. LOW Mate Value: 
  • People select partners with high mate value OR
  • People do not select partners with low mate value

    A man's "value" might be mainly determined by his status and prestige.  His ambition, finances, intelligence and sense of humor are also considered.  Some researchers believe that males who have higher mate values have sex earlier and with more people and have more promiscuous relationships altogether.  For men, younger and more attractive women are most desirable not only because they are physically attractive, but also because they are more fertile.  Overall, men typically place more value on a woman's good looks in a long term mate than women do because female mate value is more focused on the physiological aspect of the male mate. 

    Overall, we can assume that compared to women, men place more importance on physical attractiveness and women place more importance than men do on the "earning capacity" of a potential mate.  Keep in mind that
    research in mating selection shows that one's culture has a significant influence on the way people select mates. Research has also explored what values (traditional or contemporary) a person may be focusing on during the mating selection process.


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