The Mating Game

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During Professor McGue's lecture about sex, gender, and behavior, he discussed the idea of sexual selection. Sexual selection is a form of Darwin's natural selection in which the male or female is attracted to other by certain characteristics, such as color and/or behavior. When looking to reproduce, males and females look for specific things. Evolutionally, species want their offspring to survive and thrive in their world/environment so in order to ensure this, species must be quite selective in those they choose to mate with. The Lillienfeld text notes "women tend to pursue a mating strategy that maximizes the chances that the man with whom they mate will provide well for their offspring" (p. 446). The Lillienfeld text explains that since men produce numerous sperm and women typically produce only one egg per month, women have to be much more selective about whom they want to fertilize that one egg. Males therefore often have to prove to the woman that they are well fit and well equipped to produce offspring. This is the reason why women tend to consider the income and occupation of men more important than men do for women.

Humans are not the only species who display sexual selection. When I watched Professor McGue's lecture and read the Lillienfeld text I was immediately reminded of a clip from Discovery Channel's Planet Earth. This clip highlights the mating practices of birds of paradise. The females are incredibly picky about finding a mating partner. The male birds put on fabulous displays of their worth in which they show their beautiful feathers, sounds, and dance moves. As the narrator says, "the more extravagant the male is the more likely he'll be noticed".

Although we humans don't flap our feathers or spread our wings, we too look very carefully before selecting a partner to date, marry, and reproduce with.

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This page contains a single entry by Shira published on November 19, 2011 9:12 PM.

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