Explain, with examples, how the processes of natural selection and sexual selection are thought to have contributed to modern-day human behaviour.
The processes of natural and sexual selection can help to explain why modern-day human behaviour has evolved. There are many physical and psychological characteristics that all human beings, across cultures, display today that have evolved from our ancestors, over thousands of years. As a result of the selection process, we have adapted in particular ways that best suit our environment thus enabling survival and increasing our chances of producing offspring that will inherit our genes. This essay aims to explain what is meant by natural and sexual selection, what an adaptation is, and how the processes of selection are thought to have contributed to modern-day human behaviour.
Natural selection takes place within a species when particular physical and behavioural characteristics that are beneficial to the survival of that species, within its current environment, are passed via genes to the next generation. The longer an individual can survive, the more likely they will be to produce more offspring and so pass on the particular gene. The ‘fittest’ characteristics are those, most suited to an environment, which survive frequently through genetics. Less efficient characteristics will not be passed down through selection. The three premises for natural selection according to Barrett et al (as cited in Clegg, 2007) are: there needs to be variations in character traits between individuals in a species, these variations need to be inherited through genetics and there needs to be competition for resources (such as food) so that the individuals with the fittest genes will survive longer than those without, thus being able to produce more offspring. (Clegg, 2007)
The process of natural selection leads to adaptations in a species, some of which are suited to our environment today and some of which are not. Art is...
References: Clegg, H. (2007). Evolutionary psychology. In D. Miell, A. Phoenix, & K. Thomas (Eds), Mapping Psychology (2nd ed., pp.105 – 160). Milton Keynes: The Open University.
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