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Description Evolutionary?Psychology Paper?Assignment 1.?In?the?paper,?discuss?Evolutionary?Psychology?s?stance?on:?The?characteristics?that?men?seek?in?woman?or?that attracts?them?to?certain?woman.?(What?are?evolutionary?hypotheses?relating?to?this?topic?and?what?is?the?evidence supporting/contradicting?these?hypotheses?so?far?)? 2.?In?addition,?you?should?discuss?how?another?field?of?psychology?(i.e.,?cognitive,?developmental,?behaviorism, etc.)?views?this?topic?and?what?hypotheses/evidence?this?field?of?psychology?has?provided?in?attempt?to?explain behavior?relating?to?this?topic.? 3.?Finally,?discuss?whether?Evolutionary?Psychology?provides?the?most?convincing?evidence?for?behavior relating?to?the?topic.?If?so,?what?evidence?is?most?convincing??If?not,?what?other?field?in?psychology?provides better?hypotheses/evidence??(Remember,?you?are?analyzing?the?evidence?as?a?scientist.?You?should?be?examining procedures?used?to?collect?data,?the?ability?to?generalize?results,?etc.?Please?don?t?base?your?argument?solely?on personal?experience/opinions). You?should?use?at?least?6?peer?reviewed?journal?articles?as?sources?for?this?paper.?Paper?should?be?roughly?6?8 pages?in?length. 1.?Discuss?Evolutionary?Psychology?s?stance?on:The?characteristics?that?men?seek?in?woman?or?that?attracts?them?to?certain?woman?such?as: ??AgeCross?cultural?preferences?(~?2.5?years?younger)Difference?in?age?varies?across?culturesAge?of?man?determines?age?of?woman?preferred (Adolescent?men?tend?to?prefer?slightly?older?women)Possible?explanations?for?preference?for?younger?women:?control,?women?s?preferencesEvidence?supports?link?to?fertility ??BeautyAgain,?cue?to?reproductive?valueAppearance?cues:?lips,?hair,?skin,?teeth,?muscle/fatBehavior?cues:?energetic?characteristicsShows?health?(lack?of?disease),?fertility?Both?men?and?women?rate?women?of?increasing?age?as?less?attractive,?but?decline?more?prominent?for?menCorrelation?between?women?s?hair?quality?and?health ??Physical?AttractivenessIn?U.S.,?cross?generational?evidence?that?men?place?more?value?on?physical?attractiveness?than?womenImportance?of?attractiveness?has?increased?for?both?sexes?in?U.S.?since?1930?s? media?influence?Cross?cultural?evidence?(37?cultures)?that?attractiveness?is?more?important?to?men?than?women 2.?Other?field?of?Psychology?view?on?the?above?issues:Their?Hypothesis 09/12/2016 Register now with WritersHub.org! http://www.writershub.org/writer/orders/98934#instructions 4/5Evidence?of?support/contradiction?on?the?issues?in?1. 3.?Discuss?whether?Evolutionary?Psychology?provides?the?most?convincing?evidence?for?behavior?relating?to?the topic:EvidenceIf?not,?what?other?field?has?better?evidenceExamining?procedures?used?to?collect?dataAbility?to?generalize?results https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444291/ Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating JAMES A. YOUNG*, JOSEPH W. CRITELLI, & KATHY W. KEITH University of North Texas, USA Abstract This study tested a prediction derived from several lines of thought within evolutionary psychology, particularly the work of Buss and Schmitt (1993), that males would show an evolved predisposition to prefer a younger female for long-term mating, such as marriage, than for a brief sexual encounter. A sample of 148 male university students responded to preference items embedded within a cultural scenario designed to minimize social pressures to report age preferences in conformance with contemporary American social norms. For marriage, subjects preferred females with a mean age of 16.87 while 17.76 was the mean age selected for a brief sexual encounter ( p< 0.01) supporting the prediction. Possible alternate interpretations were discussed. Keywords: Age, marriage, sex, evolution Introduction Evolved genetic predispositions are widely acknowledged to include broad behavioural categories such as the ability to learn by association, as well as predispositions at more specific levels, such as the tendency to engage in courtship rituals and seek a mate. In addition, researchers have produced considerable evidence that some predispositions are highly specific and contextsensitive (Barkow, Cosmides & Tooby, 1992, Hirschfeld & Gelman, 1994, Pinker, 2002). One contextual cue that has generated a pattern of successful differential predictions is whether mating preferences refer to a short-term *Correspondence: Joseph W. Critelli, Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, PO Box 311280, Denton, TX 76203-1280, USA. Tel: ?940-565-2671. E-mail: critelli@unt.edu ISSN 1479?2508 print/ISSN 1479?2516 online 2005 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/14616660500035090 Sexualities, Evolution and Gender, August 2005; 7(2): 83?93 sexual encounter, such as a brief affair, or a long-term sexual relationship, such as marriage (Buss & Schmitt, 1993, Kenrick, Groth, Trost & Sadalla, 1993, Kenrick, Sadalla, Groth & Trost, 1990, Nevid, 1984, Schmitt & Buss, 1996, Simpson & Gangestad, 1992). Trivers (1972) differential investment model argues that females should be more discriminating than males in choice of a mating partner because of their greater investment in each offspring. In effect, males would have less to lose from a mating that is reproductively unsuccessful. Kenrick and colleagues (1990) qualified this model by observing that, in contrast to many mammals, human males do often make a considerable investment in offspring, and they found differences in choosiness between males and females to be smaller in relationships such as marriage than for those involving only brief sexual encounters. Kenrick & Keefe (1992) noted the extensive evidence within social psychology that similarity leads to attraction (Byrne, 1971) and argued that age similarity should carry some evolutionary reproductive advantage in that a common cohort history would facilitate cooperative relations between long-term partners. They proposed a synthesis of social exchange (Walster, Walster & Berscheid, 1978) and evolutionary models in which male age preferences would be a function of both the partner?s reproductive ability and age similarity. Using marriage statistics and personal adverts, they found that males begin with a preference for partners about their own age but, over time, come to prefer females who are progressively younger than themselves. Other researchers (Symons, 1992, Thornhill & Thornhill, 1992) questioned whether the preference for similarity represents an evolutionary adaptation or a by-product of other factors, such as a female preference for males who are only somewhat older than themselves. Kenrick, Keefe, Gabrielidis & Cornelius (1996) examined age preferences for dating relationships within a sample of adolescent males and found these males to violate the cultural norm for males to seek females who are younger and less powerful than themselves. Adolescent males were most attracted to females several years older than themselves, even though females of this age show no reciprocal interest in adolescent males. Buunk, Dijkstra, Kenrick & Warntjes (2001) found that adult men, regardless of age, preferred women of reproductive age for short-term mating and for sexual fantasies. For long-term mates, men preferred females younger than themselves but in some cases above the age of maximum fertility. They argued that the balance between preferences for youth and for age similarity depends on the mating strategy. In their view, similarity should be more important for long- than for short-term matings, and youth, in so far as it correlates with fertility, should be relatively more important for short- than for long-term matings. A number of researchers (Buss & Schmitt, 1993, Kenrick & Keefe, 1992, Symons, 1979, Thornhill & Thornhill, 1983) have drawn a distinction between two aspects of female reproductive ability. Fertility refers to the likelihood of immediate conception, which is thought to peak roughly between 22 and 25 (National Center for Health Statistics, 1965, Symons, 1995, Thornhill & Thornhill, 1983), although the exact age may vary depending on factors 84 J. A.
Young et al. such as nutrition. In addition, women in their twenties are less likely to have babies with birth defects than are women in their teens (Kessner, 1973, Vital and Health Statistics, 1972). Thus intercourse with a woman at this age would maximize the probability of conception and child bearing. Future reproductive value refers to the expected extent to which an individual will contribute to the ancestry of later generations. Within this view, a woman?s reproductive value as indicated by her potential to contribute to a man?s total reproductive output would be highest shortly after menarche, roughly between 16 and 18, before bearing her first child (females younger than this show low fertility, Montagu, 1957). Several researchers (Buss & Schmitt, 1993, Kenrick & Keefe, 1992, Thornhill & Thornhill, 1983) have combined the distinction between fertility and future reproductive value with the temporal context of short- versus long-term mating to suggest that male age preferences may depend on the temporal context of the sexual relationship. Buss & Schmitt (1993) argue that human ancestors faced different adaptive problems in the two contexts of long- and short-term mating, which led to a differentiation in evolved patterns of mate preference. For men, a reproductive benefit of long-term mating is the possibility of monopolizing a woman?s entire reproductive capacity. To take advantage of this benefit, men had to solve particular mating problems, such as identifying women with high future reproductive value and ensuring certainty of paternity. They found that men preferred long-term mates who are young and physically attractive (indicators of reproductive value) and those who present cues of sexual fidelity. Although consistent with their theory, these findings may also be consistent with social psychological theories relying on normative cultural practices and social roles (Eagly & Wood, 1999) rather than evolved predispositions. With regard to short-term mating, a reproductive benefit for men would be the possibility of inseminating many fertile women. To take advantage of this benefit, ancestral men had to solve problems of identifying which women were sexually accessible without prolonged courtship. In contrast to the preferences men exhibited for long-term mates, Buss & Schmitt (1993) found that male short-term mating preferences included a lowering of partner desirability standards, seeking a large number of partners, and preferring partners that are sexually experienced or somewhat promiscuous. This line of thought suggests that, over evolutionary time frames, it would have been most adaptive for men to prefer women of high fertility when they were seeking short-term matings and to prefer women of high future reproductive value when seeking long-term matings. In this view, age preferences reflect evolutionary adaptations and operate as genetic predispositions that unfold in interaction with the environment. If this is so, men would be predisposed to prefer younger females for long-term mating than for short-term mating. An alternate view within evolutionary psychology considers whether human males have been designed by natural selection to be most strongly sexually attracted to the physical characteristics indicative of future reproductive value or of immediate fertility (Symons, 1979, 1989, Williams, 1975). Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating 85 Symons speculates that males have been selected primarily for wife detecting rather than for detecting sexual partners. For example, he notes that women of 20 and 30 years of age may be about equally fertile but, in a traditional tribal environment, the 30 years-old would have completed half of her reproductive career and thus represent a less valuable wife than would a 20 years-old. In addition, Symons maintains that, with regard to tribal females raised in a natural environment, without contraceptives or modern cosmetics and sun protectants, most males, whether of tribal or industrial cultures, would be more attracted to the female of 20 than the one of 30 years of age (Symons, 1979). The cross cultural research on tribal peoples in polygynous societies, which often have few restrictions on male age preference, shows that these men value females who are post pubescent, young, and have not yet given birth (Betzig, 1982, Daly & Wilson, 1983, Symons, 1979, van den Berghe, 1992). Symons (1989) maintains that, in modern societies, this preference may not be readily apparent because having sex with females of this age would be illegal, immoral, and stigmatized, and it is also the case that modern women maintain a youthful appearance much longer than they would in a tribal environment. Thus, within this line of thought, it would appear unlikely that males would show differential age preferences based on whether the mating is short- or long-term. The prediction that males would prefer a younger female for long- than for short-term mating provides a relatively stringent test of the position represented by Buss & Schmitt (1993) and others, as it refers to a preference that is not apparent in current cultural practices. In fact, such a preference seems somewhat counter-intuitive. Eagly and Wood (1999), in an influential paper opposing evolutionary predispositions that are specific and context-sensitive, suggest that the distinction between short- and long-term mating seems unpromising. Instead, they suggest that men should prefer both marital and sexual partners younger than themselves, as this provides a better fit with existing genderbased power differentials. Within this view, men, partly because of their greater size and strength, have held more power than women in cultures around the world. Because of this power difference, young men are socialized to relatively arbitrary gender role norms which specify that men should be older, more powerful, smarter, and taller than their female partners, which leads them to seek out and be attracted to women who are younger, weaker, less intelligent, and smaller than themselves (Brehm, 1985, Cameron, Oskamp & Sparks, 1977, Presser, 1975). With respect to cultural norms, it is well known that males are attracted to relatively young females, but males are not known to make an age distinction with regard to females based on whether the context involves casual sex, dating, or marriage. Moreover, Eagly & Wood (1999) argued that men would seek to maximize their utilities by marrying women with good domestic skills, such as housekeeping and cooking. As Kleyman (2000) expounded, this would appear to create a preference for marriage partners to be somewhat older than brief sexual partners. In addition, as marriage is believed to require a level of emotional maturity that would be unnecessary for short-term 86 J. A. Young et al. mating, one might expect males to prefer a marriage partner who, although somewhat younger than the male to conform with societal power differentials, is also slightly older and perhaps more mature than a potential short-term sexual partner. Thus, based on normative cultural practices, there is not a strong basis for predicting a difference in age preference between short- and long-term mating, but if a prediction were made it would appear to be in a direction opposite to that of Buss & Schmitt (1993). Evolutionary theories assume that a characteristic such as stated age preference is influenced by both evolved, genetic predispositions and by social and cultural factors within the immediate environment. A number of researchers (Buss & Schmitt, 1993, Townsend, 1992, van den Berghe, 1992) have argued that marital ages and age requests in personal adverts do not measure unconstrained age preference. These measures reflect what individuals actually get or hope to get, given the constraints and compromises of the mating market. These constraints include female age preference for males who are only somewhat older than themselves, the anticipation of female infidelity if the age discrepancy is too great, and the legal, moral, and social restrictions applied to sex between
adult men and adolescent females. For example, full and unconstrained preference may not be reflected in marital ages because one?s own mate value may be insufficient to attract someone with the physical characteristics typical of the age that one finds most desirable. More direct expressions of age preference, such as personal adverts that explicitly state a preference or direct questions as to one?s preference are likely to be affected by anticipations of which females will be likely to show reciprocal interest in the male (Buunk et al., 2001). Several researchers (Buunk et al., 2001, Ellis & Symons, 1990) have argued that unconstrained age preferences may be reflected most directly in the context of sexual fantasies, since this would remove individuals from some of the realistic constraints of the mating market. For example, male-targeted visual erotica generally depicts women in their twenties (Winick, 1985) and the use of even younger women may be suppressed by legal considerations. Although a greater proportion of men between 40 and 60 years of age purchase adult entertainment than do younger men (Peat Marwick & Partners, 1984), there is no significant demand for women over 40 to pose for such erotica (Townsend, 1992), even though men in their fifties typically marry women in their forties (Kenrick & Keefe, 1992). Regan (1998) asked college males to indicate the minimum age that they would deem acceptable for both short- and long-term potential sexual partners. Participants showed no difference in ages selected, with sample males having an average age of 19 and the minimum age selected averaging about 17 years old. The implications of this study for the evolutionary hypothesis under investigation cannot be determined, as the direct request for an age preference in the context of modern society, with reference to what is ??acceptable?? is likely to reflect local cultural norms rather than something approaching unconstrained predispositions for age preference, particularly since this wording may have suggested the notion of ??socially acceptable?? to male participants. Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating 87 The current study In an attempt to reduce the influences of social desirability and conformity to social norms of modern American society, we employed a cultural scenario with elements of sexual fantasy to provide a context for making age preference choices. From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, if proximate factors such as social norms were reduced, one would expect to observe, as a residual, a closer approximation to the effects of evolutionary predispositions. In this cultural scenario, male subjects were asked to adopt the role of a member of another culture wherein social norms are quite different from our own. Evolutionary theorists argue that males characteristically assess both females? future reproductive potential and their current level of fertility, without implying that this is consciously processed. If they are correct, it should be possible for males to respond meaningfully to a cultural scenario and express their age preferences for marriage and for a brief sexual encounter. Note that the issue here is not whether males would be accurate in simulating what males from this hypothetical culture would select but rather how males respond when some of the age preference pressures of our own culture have been relaxed. Method Participants Males (n ? 148) at a large southwestern university in the USA participated in exchange for course credit in undergraduate psychology classes. They included, 14 African Americans, five Asians, 113 Caucasians, 12 Hispanics, and four persons listed as ??other??. Subjects were told only that the study involved psychological research. The subjects? ages ranged from 17 to 29 years (m ? 19.83, SD ? 1.91). To participate in the study, subjects had to be (a) 30 years old or younger, (b) not married, (c) without children, and (d) heterosexual. Eight potential subjects were eliminated for not meeting these requirements. Procedure Measurement instruments were administered in a group setting. To safeguard students? confidentiality, subjects were seated at a distance from each other and questionnaires were anonymous. The survey included the cultural scenario with age preference questions, an item requesting their beliefs about the purpose of the study, and demographic items. Upon completion, subjects were given a debriefing form which explained the purpose of the study. Instrumentation Each participant read a hypothetical scenario which asked him to place himself within the ??Arunta?? culture. This culture was described as having 88 J. A. Young et al. different cultural traditions from those found in other societies. The scenario was constructed to counteract prohibitions in our own culture that were judged to be most likely to bias expressions of age preference. The two areas so judged involve taboos against sex with young girls and prohibitions against casual sex. The following is the scenario in its entirety. There are many different cultures in Australia. The ??Arunta?? is the largest native group and it can be found near the centre of Australia. As the Arunta culture is described, I would like you to imagine yourself as part of the Arunta culture. Due to the geographical isolation, the people of your native culture (i.e., Arunta) have had little contact with other cultures. Some of your cultural traditions are different from those found in other societies. Because you have had little exposure to these other societies, you live your life, day by day, as if your traditions are the only correct way to do things. In your culture, by the time a female reaches the age of 13 she is considered an adult. This belief is based on a female?s ability to have children once she reaches the age of 12 or 13. A female of 13 or 14 is not considered any less of a woman than one of 20 or 25. For this reason, it is not uncommon for an older male, such as one in his twenties, to be involved with a female in her teens. Compatibility with respect to education is not an issue, since there is no formal education in this culture. Because the people of your culture are treated as adults at a very early age, by the time they enter their teenage years they are considered to have reached full maturity. The sexual attitudes in your culture would be considered much more liberal than most other cultures. Within your culture, it is not at all looked down upon to have a one-night sexual encounter and not to pursue the relationship further. In fact, in this culture, a one-night sexual encounter is as common as a long-term relationship. Although the sexual attitudes are very liberal, it is also very difficult to be separated once one has been married. In this culture, marriage is usually for life. In this scenario, long-term mating was described by the terms ??long-term relationship?? and ??marriage??. Short-term mating was described as a ??onenight sexual encounter??. The phrase ??to be involved with?? was judged to be approximately midway between a one-night sexual encounter and marriage. The scenario mentioned that marriage was ??for life?? to emphasise the importance of marital judgments, and it placed more emphasis on reducing prohibitions against sex with young girls rather than those against sex with older women, as our cultural taboos are skewed toward youth. For example, it would be more objectionable for a 20 years old male in our culture to be sexually involved with a 15 years old girl than with a 25 years old woman. After reading the description of the Arunta culture, the subject was asked to answer four questions ??as if you were part of the Arunta culture??: (1) If you were living in the above culture, do you think it would be easy to act as an adult at an early age because everyone expects such behaviour of you?; (2) Your parents are arranging your marriage. You have been given the freedom to choose the age of your bride to be. As a member of the Arunta culture, which age would you choose?; (3) If you were living in the above culture, at which age would you choose to live in
dependently of your parents?; (4) Someone is arranging a one-night sexual encounter for you with someone whom you?ve never met. You have been given the freedom to choose the age of your sex partner. As a member of the Arunta culture, which age would you choose? Subjects were asked to describe their reasoning for each answer, and these descriptions were used to determine whether subjects understood their task. Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating 89 Questions 1 and 3 were buffer items to disguise the hypothesis of the study. On questions for which respondents were asked to indicate ages, they responded by circling a number ranging from 12 to 30 years in 1-year increments. This age range was selected so that subjects could respond with an age preference that was about as much different from their actual ages on the younger side as on the older side. Results It was evident from subjects? responses as to the purpose of the study that all were unaware of the hypothesis being tested. Inspection of the reasons given by subjects for reporting their preferred ages revealed that some subjects did not understand the task. On the basis of the reasons given, without knowledge of the subjects? age preference responses, the researchers eliminated five subjects from the age difference analysis. One subject referred to whether the female had reached the legal age for alcohol consumption, one referred to an age for getting a job, one referred to an age of financial security, and two referred to the male?s rather than the female?s age. Subjects? preferred age for marriage was m ? 16.87; SD ? 2.67. The preferred age for a one-night sexual encounter was m ? 17.76; SD ? 3.45. A two-tailed paired samples t-test yielded, t(df ? 142) ? 2.77, p< 0.01. Effect size as measured by Cohen?s d was 0.24 (Cohen, 1988). The mean age chosen for marriage was 3.02 years less than the subject?s age (SD ? 3.40). Age chosen for a one-night sexual encounter yielded a mean that was 2.07 years less than the subject?s age (SD ? 4.30). Subject?s age showed a weak negative correlation with age of female selected for marriage, r ? 0.18 ( p < 0.05), and it was not significantly correlated with age of female selected for a one-night sexual encounter (r ? 0.08, p ? 0.16). Discussion In this study, we tested a prediction derived from several lines of thought within evolutionary psychology, particularly Buss & Schmitt (1993), which proposes that male age preferences reflect evolutionary adaptations and that males are predisposed to experience different age preferences for short- and long-term mating. This age preference predisposition is thought to be sensitive to the fact that, in females, age of maximal future reproductive value is younger than age of optimal fertility. As predicted, males preferred younger females for a long-term sexual relationship than for a brief sexual encounter. Results from the current study provide some support for the partial genetic control of sexual age preferences as mediated by the temporal context of the sexual interaction. It also supports a male sensitivity to age differences between female reproductive value and immediate fertility. In addition, since this age difference prediction is not apparent within current cultural mores, it provides a stronger test of evolutionary ideas than would the prediction of a phenomenon that is already well-known, such as the idea that men are attracted to women younger than themselves. 90 J. A. Young et al. Several limitations of the study can be identified. The scenario used to provide a context for measuring age preferences included cultural details designed to minimize our own cultural prohibitions against adult men stating a desire for a sexual relationship with adolescent females. By not including comparable details on the acceptability of age preferences for older women, this may have primed subjects for selecting younger age preferences for both sex and marriage. On the other hand, the hypothesis being tested involved the difference between ages for long- and short-term mating. Since the emphasis on younger females applied to both short- and long-term mating, this emphasis would not explain the difference found between these two temporal contexts. Another interpretation of the present findings might place the central role of discriminating between immediate fertility and future reproductive value in a slightly different light. It is possible that male territoriality and possessiveness would be engaged more strongly in long- than in short-term mating. One implication of this territoriality could be a desire to claim more of a partner?s life by initiating the long-term relation at an earlier age. Future research should examine the viability of this line of thought. Another direction for research would include determining whether the present findings extend to older males. Although older subjects in the present study, who were in their twenties, showed no less of a preference for very young females for marriage than did younger subjects, it is not clear whether this would extend to men in their thirties and beyond. Thornhill & Thornhill (1992) note that in polygynous societies successive wives are often of the same age at marriage as were previous wives. It is not clear, however, whether the present use of a cultural scenario, even if it were enhanced with greater detail and induced subject participation, would exert the social power to counteract modern societal prohibitions against mating relationships between older men and younger girls. It may also be the case that, with older men, age similarity may play a greater role, as suggested by Kenrick & Keefe (1992). Age similarity was unlikely to have been an operative factor in the present study, as the average age of male participants was about midway between the ages of maximal fertility and future reproductive value. References Barkow, J. H., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (1992). The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Betzig, L. L. (1982). Despotism and differential reproduction: A cross-cultural correlation of conflict asymmetry. Ethology and Sociobiology, 3, 209?221. Brehm, S. S. (1985). Intimate relationships. 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