Benefit-Provisioning And Cost-Provisioning

The human desire to be with another is said to be one of the most powerful forces in the world. It inspires poems, songs, books and nearly every other creative media. From an evolutionary standpoint it is the reason that humans have been able to survive and thrive. Creating pair-bonds allow for bi-parental care and give the pair a sense of calm and joy, despite the struggles they may face (Acevedo & Aron, 2014, p. 1). But how is it that those pair-bonds stay together? Studies suggest that men and women engage in two types of behavior, benefit-provisioning and cost-provisioning. In benefit-provisioning partners strive to keep their mates through giving them benefits, while in cost-provisioning behaviors partners place negative pressure on their …show more content…
Michael Pham and Todd Shackelford wanted to test if men performed oral sex on their partners as part of a benefit-provisioning strategy (2013, p. 185). Men engage in these mate retention strategies to keep their women from being unfaithful. Due to paternity uncertainty, men want to ensure that they are actually giving resources to their own offspring and not some other males. If a man can prove that staying faithful to him has benefits, the less he has to worry about his mate going to someone else. Pham and Shackelford concluded that men who engaged in more benefit-provisioning behaviors in general showed more interest in and spent more time performing oral sex on their partner (2013, p. 187). They were surprised to find that men who engaged in more cost-provisioning behaviors actually ended up showing less interest in and spent less time providing their partner with oral sex (Pham & Shackelford, 2013, p. 187). Oral sex falls into the category of benefit-provisioning retention strategies because it is something that is positive for the partner and is used along the same lines as providing resources. Men can and do engage in both benefit- and cost-provisioning behaviors to keep their partners from being unfaithful, however the study did not go on to include women until …show more content…
In a follow up study to Pham and Shackelford’s original study about men and benefit-provisioning behaviors, researchers extended the hypothesis to women. When they sampled females in committed heterosexual relationships they found the same pattern in women that was found in men through self-reports (Sela, Shackelford, Pham, & Euler, 2014, p. 65). They found that women, who were engaging in more benefit-provisioning mate retention strategies, were also more interested in and spent more time performing oral sex on their partner. When they compared the results of the men and women they did not find any sex differences between interest in and time spent performing oral sex. But when the looked at the effects of benefit-provisioning behaviors they found that men were more likely than women to use oral sex as a mate retention strategy (Sela, Shackelford, Pham, & Euler, 2014, p. 65). With the results not showing a sex difference it means that both men and women will use oral sex as a way to keep their partners faithful to them and act as a benefit. Oral sex is being used by both sexes to ensure that they will continue to be the one receiving the resources that the other has. There are differences in other strategies that men and women will use for mate retention, but as far as oral sex goes, they argree. In the future these studies will probably

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