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3 Cards in this Set

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Gender roles - AO1

The evo exp of gender roles states that humans have evolved to maximise the likelihood that individuals will pass on their genes to future generations. Males and females have thereofore developed optimal mating strategies to promote the conception, birth and survival of their offspring.

AO1 - Parental Investment

Trivers (1972) argued that behavioural differences have arisen as a result of reproductive success in the past. He noted that for males, each offspring involves relatively little PI and a man's involvement in producing a child could theoretically be limited to investing their sperm and physical energy for the conception of the child. They are not bound to the child physically as the mother is so have the ability to move on and mate with other willing, fertile females to increase their reproductive success. In contrast reproduction for the human female involves a considerable amount of investment. Following conception, she will carry the growing baby for nine months supplying the nutrients it needs, abstain from certain activities that may harm the baby etc. However, she also has to give birth to the child, which as in the past as now can be potentially life threatening for both the child and mother. After this the baby will need to be cared for and the mother may have to breastfeed and provide for the baby. As a result of the substantial input required, the best strategy for females is for them to ensure the survival of her few precious offspring. Survival is more likely if there are 2 parents around to provide protection and food. Therefore, the female should select a male with good genes who will help to raise the offspring. Success will be further guaranteed if the male is powerful and resourceful.

PI and Behavioural Differences

The PI theory shows how differences between men and women have evolved. Differences in sexual style may be linked to differential reproductive success. Uncommitted sex or promiscuity is seen as an optimal strategy for males as this eould enable them to leave larger numbers of offspring. In contrast, choosiness would be more beneficial for females as a carefully selected mate would be important in ensuring survival of their few offspring.