Sex difference in evolutionary psychology

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Sex difference in evolutionary psychology

Rochester Institute of Technology This review discusses how two theories--evolutionary psychology and social structural theory--apply to mate preferences, jealousy, and aggression.

Sex difference in evolutionary psychology

It compares explanations from both theories for each sex difference. Evolutionary psychology maintains that sex differences develop biologically as people adapt to changes in the environment.

The main focus in evolutionary psychology is reproduction of future generations. Social structural theory maintains that sex differences result from changes in society and social roles occupied by men and women.

Social structural theory also draws upon cultural explanations. This paper compares the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and social structural theory on sex differences in jealousy, mate preferences, and aggression.

These two theories shed somewhat different lights on the origins of sex differences between men and women. Both theories discuss sex differences in mate preferences, jealousy, and aggression.

Explanations from the two theories are compared and contrasted. Explanations for Sex Differences Evolutionary psychologists have developed a theory to explain the origins of differences between men and women.

From the evolutionary perspective, human sex differences reflect the pressure of differing physical and social environments between females and males in primeval times.

It is believed that each sex faced different pressures and that the differing reproductive status was the key feature in life at that time. This resulted in sex-specific evolved mechanisms that humans carry with them--these are the causes of sex-differentiated behavior.

The two sexes developed different strategies to ensure their survival and reproductive success. This explains why men and women differ psychologically: Evolutionary psychologists explain sex differences as based on differing parental investment.

Because women invest greatly in reproduction of offspring, they have developed traits that help improve the chances that each offspring will survive.

Evolutionary psychologists view sex-evolved dispositions as psychological tendencies that have been built in genetically. This explains the difference in each sex's perspective on reproduction. The social structural theory states that the critical cause of sex differences is social structure.

The differences between genders are not based psychologically but are influenced socially. It is believed that situations faced by each sex are variable in societies and cultures and historical periods and that there are changes are in responses to technology, ecology, and social organization.

Because men are bigger and stronger, they are given more attention and respect in our society. Physical sex differences influence the roles held by men and women, because one sex will accomplish certain activities better than the other sex. Each performance by one sex determines its placement in the social structure.

With physical differences, each sex is believed to develop traits according to placement in the social structure. Men who have roles of great power and good standing in society show more dominant behavior, whereas women's roles are normally classified with lesser power and status and will produce more subordinate behavior.

This theory emphasizes that mate selection by women is not only focused on reproduction of childen but also on power and social status. Mate selection is women's way to move up the social ladder. Mate Preferences Several considerations influences a person's selection of a suitable mate.

Evolutionary psychology indicates that characteristics that people seek in mates depend on their sex and whether it is a short-term or a long-term mating. Women are limited in the number of children they can have during their lifetime.

Men have no restriction when it comes to reproduction. Both men and women compete for their choice of mate. Women will seek a mate who has resources to support their parental efforts, whereas men will seek a mate for reasons different from wanting to be a parent.

A man has two possibilities for multiplying copies of his genes: He can either aim for quantity or quality of offsprings. With quantity, a man can impregnate as many women as possible without staying around to help raise any of the children. With quality, a man can stay with one female partner and have fewer children, but he will be present during their upbringing VanLeuwen, Women have a limit on how many children they can have and a time limit on when they can bear children.

Because of these limits, women are strongly motivated to ensure that the children they have will have the physical and psychological traits necessary to survive and to be able to reproduce successfully Looy, Physical appearances play a big part in mate selection.

Women prefer men with more symmetrical features; clear, unblemished skin; and white sclera of the eye, because these features indicate good health, which also means "good" genes. Women also prefer that men have masculine features, such as strong jaw, facial hair, broader shoulders, narrower hips, and a muscular build, because these indicate sufficient testosterone for fertility.Evolutionary Explanations of Gender.

As the evolutionary approach is a biological one, it suggests that aspects of human behavior have been coded by our genes because they were or are Saul Mcleod. Sex differences in crime are differences between men and women as the perpetrators or victims of studies may belong to fields such as criminology (the scientific study of criminal behavior), sociobiology (which attempts to demonstrate a causal relationship between biological factors, in this case biological sex and human behaviors), or feminist studies.

Sex Differences serves as an advanced text for courses in evolutionary and human biology, psychology, and sexuality and gender studies.

It also serves as a reference source for Reviews: 2. The current essay explained certain concepts of sex differences chiefly from the perception of evolutionary psychology. Some limitations exposed in some arguments, for example the inference on aggressive behaviour in modern times cannot be satisfactory annotated by social constructionist views, while evolutionary views are more credible.

Sex differences in spatial abilities may possibly have an evolutionary basis, with suggested that the division of labor consistently detected in hunter-gatherer societies may have led to remarkable foraging-related cognitive specializations of the sexes (Sherry et al, ; Silverman & Eals, ).

A "Sex Difference" Is a Sexually Dimorphic Psychological Adaptation a primary purpose of much of the research in evolutionary psychology/biology is to give a solid evidentary basis to make.

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