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Gabriel Phillips
Gabriel Phillips

The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies Of Human Ma... BEST

To broaden your understanding of evolutionary processes, this module will present some of the most important elements of evolution as they impact psychology. Evolutionary theory helps us piece together the story of how we humans have prospered. It also helps to explain why we behave as we do on a daily basis in our modern world: why we bring gifts on dates, why we get jealous, why we crave our favorite foods, why we protect our children, and so on. Evolution may seem like a historical concept that applies only to our ancient ancestors but, in truth, it is still very much a part of our modern daily lives.

The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies Of Human Ma...


Nonetheless, women and men do differ in their preferences for a few key qualities in long-term mating, because of somewhat distinct adaptive problems. Modern women have inherited the evolutionary trait to desire mates who possess resources, have qualities linked with acquiring resources (e.g., ambition, wealth, industriousness), and are willing to share those resources with them. On the other hand, men more strongly desire youth and health in women, as both are cues to fertility. These male and female differences are universal in humans. They were first documented in 37 different cultures, from Australia to Zambia (Buss, 1989), and have been replicated by dozens of researchers in dozens of additional cultures (for summaries, see Buss, 2012).

Sexual strategies theory and error management theory are two evolutionary psychological theories that have received much empirical support from dozens of independent researchers. But, there are many other evolutionary psychological theories, such as social exchange theory for example, that also make predictions about our modern day behavior and preferences, too. The merits of each evolutionary psychological theory, however, must be evaluated separately and treated like any scientific theory. That is, we should only trust their predictions and claims to the extent they are supported by scientific studies. However, even if the theory is scientifically grounded, just because a psychological adaptation was advantageous in our history, it doesn't mean it's still useful today. For example, even though women may have preferred men with resources in generations ago, our modern society has advanced such that these preferences are no longer apt or necessary. Nonetheless, it's important to consider how our evolutionary history has shaped our automatic or "instinctual" desires and reflexes of today, so that we can better shape them for the future ahead.

Buss, D.M. (2003). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating (Revised Edition). New York: Basic Books. [Translated and published in France, Germany, China, Korea, Japan, Poland, Italy, Spain, Sweden]

Alexander, R.D., & Noonan, K.M. (1979). Concealment of ovulation, parental care, and human social evolution. In N.A. Chagnon & W. Irons (Eds.), Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective (pp. 402-435). North Scituate, MA : Duxbury.

Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., Piazza, A., Menozzi, P., and Mountain, J. (1988). Reconstruction of human evolution: Bringing together genetic, archaeological, and linguistic data. Procedures of The National Academy of Science, Vol. 85, pp.6002-6006.

"My genes made me do it!" some philandering spouse no doubt will say, after reading this delightful book by David Buss. The basic argument of the book is that the mating strategies we see today - such as men flaunting their resources and women their beauty - have their origins in the natural selections of the distant past - and can be understood as evolutionary adaptations to the environments in which human beings (and other species as well) have found themselves.

The Ape That Understood the Universe is the story of the strangest animal in the world: the human animal. It opens with a question: How would an alien scientist view our species? What would it make of our sex differences, our sexual behavior, our child-rearing patterns, our moral codes, our religions, our languages, and science? The book tackles these issues by drawing on ideas from two major schools of thought: evolutionary psychology and cultural evolutionary theory.

We are living through the most prosperous age in all of human history, yet we are listless, divided, and miserable. Wealth and comfort are unparalleled, but our political landscape is unmoored, and rates of suicide, loneliness, and chronic illness continue to skyrocket. How do we explain the gap between these truths? And how should we respond? For evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein, the cause of our troubles is clear: The accelerating rate of change in the modern world has outstripped the capacity of our brains and bodies to adapt.

If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question we must look into our evolutionary past, argues prominent psychologist David M. Buss. Based one of the largest studies of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from 37 cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first work to present a unified theory of human mating behavior.

Fully revised and updated to reflect the very latest scientific research on human mating, this classic work of evolutionary psychology explains the powerful forces that shape our most intimate desires.

David Michael Buss (born April 14, 1953) is an American evolutionary psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, researching human sex differences in mate selection. He is considered one of the founders of evolutionary psychology.[1][2][3]

David Buss supported this evolutionary reasoning with research focused on sex differences in mating strategies. In a large cross-cultural study that included 10,047 individuals across 37 cultures, Buss sought first to determine the different characteristics each sex looks for in a mate.[16] From these findings, Buss was able to hypothesize the evolutionary causes for these preference differences. Buss found that men place very high importance on youth. Because youthful appearances signal fertility[17][18] and men seek to maximize their number of mates capable of passing on their genes, men place high value on fertility cues. Buss also found that women desire older mates. He later hypothesized that this is because older males tend to have a greater chance of higher social status;[19] this social status could lead to more resources for a woman and her offspring, and could therefore increase a woman's likelihood of sexual success and reproduction.

Epstein is dead, and now beyond the reaches of human justice, but it is still possible to hold his enablers and scientific sycophants to account. It is necessary, but not enough, to demand that individuals like Trivers and Nowak and institutions like Harvard and MIT return the millions they received from Epstein. The ideas produced by these scientists also matter. Evolutionary psychologists have naturalized, and even at times excused, male sexual violence, but evolutionary biology is not the sole province of reactionary white men. Those of us working in this field must push back on both the corrupt funding system at elite institutions and flawed ideas these institutions have produced.

On that note, comparative psychologists could take heed from evolutionary psychologists who have remained focused on the larger goals of identifying the mechanisms underlying both human and non-human behavior at both the ultimate and proximate levels. Evolutionary psychologists have incorporated advances in cognitive science, behavioral economics, developmental psychology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, sociobiology, and ethology, and yet work from an overarching theoretical framework. The basic processes of natural selection and sexual selection can explain both human and non-human mating practices (Buss, 1989, 1994), sex differences in spatial abilities (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995), attractiveness (Burke & Sulikowski, 2010) investment in offspring (Alvergne, Faurie, & Raymond, 2009), and so on. Comparative psychologists, while unequivocally but sometimes only implicitly accepting evolutionary theory, have not always placed their work within the same overarching framework, and sometimes take esoteric side trips, investigating questions that, while interesting, do little to explain the forces giving rise to various traits or behaviors in different populations. For instance, why should elephants exhibit mirror self-recognition (Plotnik, deWaal, & Reiss, 2006)?

This chapter traces theoretical and empirical progress in the study of human mating over the past few decades. Early pre-evolutionary formulations proposed that men and women were identical in their mating motivations. Most were simplistic, typically postulating a single motive for mating: the search for similarity, equity, or complementarity. Given the large sex differences in human reproductive biology, notably women bearing the burdens of internal fertilization and a greater obligatory parental investment, it would be extraordinarily unlikely that evolution by selection would fail to forge sex-differentiated mating strategies. Empirical research over the past 15 years has robustly confirmed evolutionary predictions in the domains of desire for sexual variety, the importance of fertility cues, and the importance of resource-provisioning. Recent work has revealed a hidden side of women's sexuality--a desire for extra-pair partners and the conditions under which this desire is expressed. We now have the theoretical and empirical outlines of an evolutionary formulation of human mating strategies. 041b061a72


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