The Echoes of the Mind (146) Mating


Males and females follow different reproductive strategies. ~ American psychologists Douglas Kenrick & Richard Keefe

To enchant a potential mate, male vinegar flies display an elaborate courtship dance. Females choose a partner based upon intuition. Though the details differ, the gist of human mating is selfsame, including the decision process.

The predominant patterns of mating attraction in humans are biological, not cultural. Further, human sexual relationships are like many other animals with monogamous propensities. The Collective are, after all, just animals following their instinctual urges.

A woman’s beauty is much more important to a man than a man’s physical attractiveness is to a woman. Worldwide, men prefer young, nubile females. This is sheer sociobiology at work. Besides the breeding prospect, having a physically attractive mate is a status symbol for men.

Although having a handsome man is an attraction, wealth and social status are much more important to a woman. A woman wants a good provider. (For this reason, women still prefer strong men: a biological throwback to when physicality mattered for survival.) This too reflects biological impetus, as the primary caretaker of offspring seeks a source of support. In a world dominated by men, where women are still 2nd-class citizens, it also makes economic sense.

The greater female preference for mates displaying cues to high resource potential and the greater male preference for mates displaying cues to high reproductive capacity represent adaptations to sex-differentiated reproductive constraints in our evolutionary past. ~ American psychologist David Buss

Young American men and women were asked to select from a list of desirable attributes in a partner. In order of importance, here is what women want in a man: 1) achievement, 2) leadership qualities, 3) skill at his job, 4) earning potential, 5) a sense of humor, 6) intellectual acumen, 7) attentiveness, 8) common sense, 9) athletic ability, and 10) good abstract reasoning.

The priority of qualities American men sought in their woman: 1) physical attractiveness, 2) sexual prowess, 3) warmth and affection, 4) social skill, 5) homemaking ability, 6) fashion sense, 7) sensitivity to others’ needs, 8) good taste, 9) moral perception, and 10) artistic creativity.

There is a caveat to the mating preferences biology provides. Whereas men prefer physically attractiveness, irrespective of cultural gender equality, in cultures where women are socially empowered, their preference to partner with a man for material resources is lessened.

While physical attractiveness is the starting point for many relationships, the winnowing process begins in earnest with not having repulsive traits, such as unattractive appearance, dissimilar attitudes and belief systems, and disagreeable mannerisms. Once a potential partner has been screened for disliked characteristics, level of attraction becomes the allure in having the relationship last.

Whereas men seek a trophy and women want a piggy bank, they both prefer mates who are similar to themselves, at least within cultures with a decent degree of gender equality. Similarity breeds not only attraction but also understanding and mutual respect. It is therefore unsurprising that couples in countries with greater gender equity are generally more sexually satisfied than those with low gender equality.

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Women actively engage in more grooming and captivating dress during ovulation, as their sexual motivation waxes. The closer a woman is to ovulation the more seductive men find her. An ovulating female’s scent forms part of the subconscious allure.

More generally, males and females are partly attracted to one another based upon body odors, which are particularly related to immune system compatibility. Even facial attractiveness is connected to scent.

Sexual asymmetry extends beyond mating preferences. The dynamics of relationships reflect the different communication and behavioral inclinations of the sexes.

When a wife is satisfied with the marriage, she tends to do a lot more for her husband, which has a positive effect on his life. Men tend to be less vocal about their relationships and their level of marital unhappiness might not be translated to their wives. ~ American sociologist Deborah Carr

Relationships are extended conversations with shared experiences as primary talking points. The more intimate the relationship, the more the partnership becomes a functional arrangement.

Cohabitation is a culmination of getting along conversationally. The need for high-quality communication in close quarters is obvious to anyone who has ever savored or suffered through the experience.

Assumptions are the termites of relationships. ~ American actor Henry Winkler