Men and Women

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Transcript Men and Women

One can, in effect, treat the sexes as if they were different
species, the opposite sex being a resource relevant to
producing maximum surviving offspring.
- Robert Trivers (1972)
Men and women
designed for
lifetime deep,
monogamous
love
 Female fidelity is
good for males, so
females
developed fidelity

 all
known human cultures have
marriage (though varying types of
marriage)
› having a family is the norm
› but 980 of 1154 human societies allow
men to have more than one wife
 though polygynous marriage is not the norm
amount of resources, time, energy, etc,
male parents spend on raising their
children
 humans exhibit high MPI relative to other
species

Moved from forests into savanna
 Became smarter and more upright

› Narrow pelvis

Clinging baby + mother gathering food
› helpless tiger bait
Females
reproduce once
in a long time
 Females should
be more selective
about who they
mate
 Want high
ongoing
investment

› Women: average intellect
› Men: average intellect

Intelligence of someone you’d have sex
with?
› Women: Oh, in that case, above average
intellect
› Men: Oh, in that case, below average
intellect
 As
much sex as
they can get
away with
 Attracted to
fertile-looking
females
 High MPI species,
so somewhat
selective

measured with electrodes on skin
› Sexual infidelity – Men more upset
› Emotional infidelity – women more upset


two kinds of
women: the kind
you respect and the
kind you just sleep
with
“the male may
actually encourage
the early sex for
which he will
ultimately punish
the woman.”
Men and women tend to be,
respectively, exploiter and exploitee
 Men have more to gain from deserting
family


Selection favors
males who can
deceive about
future devotion
› Self-deception
effective too

Selection favors
females who can
spot deception
 “resource
extraction” hypothesis
 “seeds of confusion” hypothesis
 “best of both worlds” hypothesis
 Women are more sexually active
around ovulation.
 Successful
male infidelity is
advantageous for males
 And if female infidelity was not longstanding…
 Average testes weight to average
male body weight
 Margaret
Mead
› No needless anxieties about sex
› Casual lovemaking
› No ideas of exclusiveness, jealousy, or
undeviating fidelity
› If husband caught wife in adultery,
appeased by harmless ritual

Derek Freeman




Upon marriage, good girls manually deflowered
If girl found with a boy and suspected to have
lost her virginity, her brothers would “upbraid and
sometimes beat” her
Young men who failed at the mating game
sometimes “forcibly deflower” a woman and
threaten to tell others unless she married him
If woman found to be non-virgin on wedding
day, publically denounced “whore”
Madonna or whore, cad or dad?
 During childhood, assess local social
environment
 More attractive adolescent girl, more
likely to “marry up”
 Evolutionarily advantageous to be
flexible



Could think of many
different hypotheses
for why these sexual
strategies were
shaped
But cannot argue
that evolutionary
psychology is
irrelevant to the
whole discussion


monogamy is not our nature
Might be better off without this strict monogamy