Evolution and Mate Selection Analytical Essay by scribbler

Evolution and Mate Selection
An examination of the impact of evolution on mate choice today.
# 153155 | 2,145 words | 8 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on May 05, 2013 in Psychology (Social)

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This paper looks at the evolutionary elements related to mate choice, as well as the more cognitive elements that are used today when it comes to selecting a mate. The paper discusses the adaptation of the mind and relates that what is missing from evolutionary theories on mating today is the important aspect of love. The paper argues that while we cannot ignore evolution's role in our selection of mates, we also cannot ignore the fact that with evolution, our brains have changed, giving us more intellectual capabilities than our early human ancestors. The paper asserts that these changes in our brain have given us the ability to use our cognitive abilities to help us find mates that we are not only attracted to, but mates who will be good companions in life.
The paper includes an annotated bibliography.

Evolution and Mate Selection
Choosing a Mate Today

From the Paper:

"Mate selection is the behavior result of mate preferences. Miller (1997) notes that these preferences are normally "mental adaptations" incorporated as complex neural circuits, and constructed through the interaction of several genes and environmental conditions, which bias mating in favor of persons with certain perceivable traits. In the majority of species, these types of systems can and do function without conscious awareness, thoughtfulness, or complex aesthetic feelings. Mate selection involves rejecting prospective mates and accepting or soliciting others. Females oftentimes reject unwanted advances from men and actively solicit sexual advances from other men; men do the same with females. Any way we look at it, mutual choice and cooperation is essential for reproducing. Though evolutionary mental adaptations obviously play a part in the mates that we choose, cognitive reasoning when it comes to mate selection also plays a very important role when it comes to selecting our mates. There are several theories that have been posited regarding cognitive abilities and mate selection.
"Being selective takes time, energy, and intelligence. The most basic reasoning is that random mating is stupid mating, according to Miller (1997). It is good to be selective when choosing a mate because the mate we choose will represent a half of the offspring that we produce."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Buston, P.M., & Emlen, S.T. (2003). Cognitive processes underlying human mate choice: the relationship between self-perception and mate preference in Western society. Proc natl acad sci USA, 100(15), 8805-8810.The authors' study tested two hypotheses regarding the cognitive processes at the root of human mate choice in Western society: (i) mate preference is conditional in that the selectivity of individuals' mate preference is based on their perception of themselves as long-term partners, and (ii) the decision rule governing such conditional mate preference is based on translating perception of oneself on a given attribute into a comparable selectivity of preference for the same attribute in a mate. Both of these two hypotheses were supported. In Western society, the conclusion was that humans do not use an "opposites-attract" or a "reproductive-potentials-attract" decision rule when it comes to selecting their long-term partners. Rather, a "like-attract" decision rule is used.
  • Fletcher, G.J.O. (2003). In K. Sterelny (Ed.), From mating to mentality: evaluating evolutionary psychology. Psychology press; 1st edition.The editor of this anthology examines human mating strategies as well as giving an overall understanding of the human mind works.
  • Geher, G., & Miller, G. (2007). Mating intelligence: sex, relationships, and the mind's reproductive system. Psychology press; 1st edition.This book introduces an original construct called 'Mating Intelligence' (MI), which concerns the cognitive processes that apply to the domain of human mating, sexuality, and intimate relationships. The authors examine: human's mating mechanisms - universal and cognitive adaptations for mating intelligently - that guide mate search, mate choice, and courtship; how mating intelligence strategically guides our choice of mating strategies and mates given varying relationship goals, personality traits, forms of deception, and the existence of children; the genetic and psychiatric causes of individual difference in mating intelligence; how humans use mental fitness indicators (creative, humor, emotional intelligence) to attract and keep sexual partners; the ecological and social contexts of mating intelligence; and, integrative models of mating intelligence that will lead the path for future research.
  • Grammer, K., & Oberzaucher, E. (2011). Our preferences: why we like what we like. In U.J. Frey., C. Stormer., & K.P. Willfuhr (Ed.), Essential building blocks of human nature. Springer; 1st edition edition.Authors Grammer & Oberzaucher state that humans tend to judge and make sense of both their social and non-social environment by putting things into one of two categories: what they like or what they don't like. They note that these preferences can be the result of "evolutionary aesthetics." Humans (and animals) have all evolved preferences for mates (among other things). Stimuli promote reproductive success and evoke positive (or negative) emotional response, and humans develop a sort of obsession with aesthetics and beauty. The cognitive apparatus of humans has evolved to fit the present physical structures - our reasoning is a result of evolution. This means, according to the authors, that cognitive structures that we have today are adaptations to problem-solving in the past.
  • Miller, G.F. (1997). How mate choice shaped human nature: a review of sexual selection and human evolution. In C. Crawford & D.L. Krebs (Ed.), Handbook of evolutionary psychology: ideas, issues, and applications. Psychology press; Subsequent edition.This book gives the reader an overview of ideas, issues, and applications of modern evolutionary psychology. The book aims to enhance the reader's understanding of gender differences in mate choice and perception as well as moral behavior, altruism, family violence, and sexual aggression (among other topics).

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Evolution and Mate Selection (2013, May 05) Retrieved April 23, 2024, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/evolution-and-mate-selection-153155/

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