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Title: Mate preferences and their behavioral manifestations.
Authors: Schmitt
Buss, D
Keywords: Human mating;Sexual strategies;Mate preferences;Sex differences;Evolutionary psychology
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Annual Reviews
Citation: Annual Review of Psychology
Abstract: Evolved mate preferences define a central causal process in Darwin’s theory of sexual selection. Their powerful influence has been documented in all well-studied sexually reproducing species, and is central to Sexual Strategies Theory (SST) as applied to humans. This chapter takes stock of what is scientifically known about human mate preferences and their many behavioral manifestations. We discuss sex differences and sex similarities in the design features of human sexual psychology as they vary according to short-term and long-term mating temporal contexts. We review context-specific shifts in mating strategy depending on individual, social, and ecological qualities such as mate value, life history strategy, sex ratio, gender economic inequality, and cultural norms. For mate preferences to have evolved, they must be manifested in actual mating behavior in some individuals some of the time, such as those with high mate value in contexts where freedom of mate choice is permitted. We review the empirical evidence for the impact of mate preferences on actual mating decisions, as well as on tactics of mate attraction, tactics of mate retention, patterns of deception, causes of sexual regret, attraction to cues to sexual exploitability, attraction to cues to fertility, attraction to cues to resources and protection, derogation of competitors, causes of breakups, and patterns of remarriage. We conclude by articulating unresolved issues and offer a future agenda for the science of human mating. This agenda includes resolving key debates, such as competing evolutionary hypotheses about the functions of women’s short-term mating; how humans invent novel cultural technologies to better implement ancient sexual strategies; and how cultural evolution may be dramatically influencing our evolved mating psychology.
ISSN: 0066-4308
Appears in Collections:Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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