The Evolution of Human Mating
It may seem obvious to some why people mate, however there are many facets to human mating. Psychology has shown that reasons for mating have gone beyond the scope of love and physical attractiveness. People may search for mates who resemble archetypical images of the opposite-sex parent, mates with characteristics that are either complementary or similar to one's own qualities, or mates with whom to make an exchange of valuable resources (Buss 238). Although these theories play a key role in understanding patterns in human mating preferences, evolutionary psychology and sexual selection theory provide more concrete frameworks for explaining human mating.
Evolutionary framework for human mating is based on three elements. First, strategies for mating developed to solve specific problems in human evolutionary history. Second, people behave differently depending on the type of mating involved. There are two types of mating, short term and long term mating. Short term mating is defined as casual sex (i.e. one-night stands and brief affairs). Long term mating is seen as a committed relationship (i.e. dating, going steady, and marriage). Third, males and females developed different strategies due to the difference in problems they have had over the course of human evolution (Buss 241). This paper will examine those strategies specific to males.
Men have developed different mating strategies to solve problems in both long term and short term mating. In pursuing a short-term sexual strategy men face four man problems: partner number (variety), identifying women who are sexually accessible, identifying women who are fertile, and avoiding commitment and investment. Men evolved over evolutionary history a desire to have access to a large number of partners because it is a direct measurement of a man's reproductive success. Consequently, in short term relationships it has become an active part of a man's repertoire. One strategy that has evolved as a result of this problem is for males to lower their standards in looking for an acceptable mate. Such standards include age, intelligence, personality traits, and status (whether or not she is involved in another relationship). Another strategy that has evolved is to limit the time it takes to seek sexual intercourse from a woman. More time spent on seeking sexual involvement from one female, the less time that can be spent on making another effort for sexual intercourse from another.
Men prefer to spend the least time, energy, and resources in making a short-term relationship successful. It is for this reason that they look for sexual accessibility. A man's strategy for solving the problem of sexual accessibility is to look for sexual experienced women. Often men concur promiscuity to be one sign of experience. They steer away from women who seem prude, conservative, or have a low sex drive.
Fertility and reproductive value are high on the...