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Is Interpersonal Attraction An Evolutionary Phenomena?

1991 words - 8 pages

Interpersonal attraction is an inherent element of social interaction. The definition says that attraction is the 'mutual interest and liking between two or more individuals.' (Psychology Dictionary, 2013). This essay will provide consideration whether or not attraction is an evolutionary phenomena. The first part critically introduces the evolutionary approach towards attraction in accordance to methods used to support it. The second part describes alternative, social theories to the phenomena with taking into account research done in this field. In this part similarity and complementarity theories will be supported.
The first assumption of evolutionary theory is that human behaviour has been developed throughout million years from the behaviour of our ancestors. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that basics of behaviour, in this case reasons of attraction towards others did not change at all from that time. Buss (2009) suggests that prehistoric people selected mates according to specific social scheme. He emphasizes on the fact that women preferred industrious and brave mates that bring support for them and their children. He uses the phrase 'imagine living as our ancestors did long ago’ (Buss, 2009:106). The point is that it is impossible to carry out a research about mate preferences of prehistoric humans because none of them can be a whiteness anymore. The only methods that modern person can use to 'examine' the behaviour of his ancestors is imagining and comparing to well-known self-experiences. There is no assurance that people millions years ago used the same way of thinking as they do now. That leads to a paradox: when people try to explain behaviour of their ancestors they use their own experience to do that. As well there is no evidence that prehistoric people lived in monogamy so that there is no completely certain way of testing whether humans were seeking for a long-term relationship.
Evolutionary psychologists believe that finding mate by humans is determined by the need of procreation. In other words, women are looking for a partner that have the ability and willingness to provide resources and protection for them and their offspring by the longest as possible period of time (Buss, 2009), whereas for men the most desirable features in women are: youth, beauty and chastity (Buss, 1992). This is because fertility in women cannot be directly observed so that men ought to choose those who have the most ability to have and raise children.
The main critique about evolutionary theory is that it does not explain the existence of homosexual relationships. It is also worth to consider the aim of inventing contraception. The main idea of contrivance is to prevent the birth of child what is the complete denial of the main assumption of evolutionary theory, procreation (Buss, 2009). It has been justified: 'In today's industrial nations women can have short-term sexual encounters with less fear of pregnancy. But humans still possess their...

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