Kaela Lindsay Reproduction
Professor Berg April 27, 2020
My favorite question to ask my friends who are in relationships how they and their significant others met---the stories are endless and I never get tired of hearing about "how it all began." Despite this romantic view, I thought the science behind relationships was quite interesting.
The whole baseline with relationships can be traced back to natural selection, in which species (usually of the same classification) mate with favorable characteristics/genetics in order to produce offspring. In more specifics, sexual selection is the scientific explanation of how individuals are attracted to one another through physical attraction. Individuals are more attracted to others that have a high mate value (requiring one or more) characteristics that make them more desirable.
Patterns in mate selection in humans have been observed in heterosexual individuals. Typically, women prefer men who are more financially stable and have ambition; whereas men tend to focus on physical characteristics of women. Unfortunately though, this can have negative effects, especially with self-esteem in women. However, this is not to say only women experience negative effects of this generic observation, as men may feel pressure to be extremely successful in life...maybe even chose jobs that pay higher, but they may not fully enjoy it.
These preferences among individuals of the opposite sex, can possibly be attributed to the biosocial theory, which places physical strength on top of the social hierarchy and why women chose to be attracted to men with a strong income...they want to raise a successful and stable family. Men may tend to focus on women's physical characteristics, because they want to look for a mate who appears to be healthy for reproduction reasons...this would be an example of the "good gene hypothesis." Under this gene hypothesis, it assumes that beauty means the person has "good" genes, intelligent and fertile.
However, it is important to note that this is not scientifically proven, these are all formed around historical and scientific records; mixed in with cultural beliefs. It is important to know that biosocial theories can lead to stereotypes, which can be detrimental to society and hinder social change for gender equality.