Bridewealth and the American Culture
Family and personal assets affect the choices we make in picking the right mate in Western Culture. The ways we view these issues influences are dating practices, and marriage choices. Evolutionary theory predicts certain mannerism that should influence dating. Most of the time evolutionary theory is reflected in mating practices. Mating choices are also affected cross-culturally in other ways like with the Kipsigis and bridewealth.
Choices we make for dating and marriage prospects rate differently according to sex and culture. The evolutionary theory predicts that women will value financial prospects higher than men do (Boyd, 2006, 461). Because women have a larger parental investment in a child, they want to be with a mate who will be able to take care of them. In David Buss' research he found that knowing a persons culture rather than gender will indicate preferences except for good financial prospects(Boyd, 2006, 465). For men in Western Culture good financial prospects are lower on their list and good looks is higher. This may be because women who are more attractive to them give the signal that they are less likely to have diseases, and possible based on their body type may be more fertile. Men and women also differ in the preference for the age of their partners. Men tend to date younger women while women date older men. This relates to the evolutionary theory because men’s fertility only slightly decreases with age, while women fertility ends as they reach menopause. It would make sense in evolutionary terms for men to choose women who have the ability to have children and are therefore younger. In actual practice men do choose women that are younger but not all of them are able to have children. “Older men may desire younger women, but they may also want to find someone who shares their tastes in music, has similar goals in life, and so on” (Boyd, 2006, 462). They may also settle with knowing that they may...
References: Boyd, Robert, & Silk, Joan B. (2006). How Humans Evolved (4th ed.). New York: W W Norton & Company.
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