Sexual Strategies Theory - a Framework

Topics: Sexual intercourse, Fertility, Sex Pages: 6 (2123 words) Published: February 1, 2012
|Sexual Strategies Theory: Summary And Opinion | | | | |

|In this paper I will summarize the Theory of Sexual Strategies and evaluate its theoretical and practical relevance based on the empirical | |evidence provided by the authors and theories that apply to the same field of research. |

The Sexual Strategies Theory is a new theory which takes multiple aspects into consideration that the current theories on mating have ignored or underspecified. I will start with giving a brief introduction to the shortcomings of the current theories and explaining how these are integrated in the Sexual Strategies Theory. After this introduction I will explain the Sexual Strategies Theory in detail and I will conclude this paper with my opinion about the arguments presented in the SST. So far, most theories concerning mating or sexual strategies have only considered long-term mating. The main reason for this is that short-term mating is hard to research because it happens in utmost secrecy most of the time. Because of this secrecy the test subjects are inclined to give socially desirable answers which negatively influence the validity of the research. In most societies however, it is normal for a man to practice polygamy, or at least to have more than one mate in one’s life (think of divorces, one night stands, and so on). For this reason it is necessary to try to research the phenomenon of short-term mating more extensively. Next to this shortcoming there are a few limitations in the current theories. The most supported theory in the field of mating is the theory that people look for mates that are similar to themselves. The limitations of this theory can be summarized as following: The theory doesn’t take the reason why people are attracted to similar people into account, it’s simplistic and doesn’t consider the context of the mating process. Next to that, it’s very broad which makes it hard to derive predictions from the theory and it assumes that mating behavior is the same for males and females. The Sexual Strategies Theory tries to overcome these limitations. The theory is based on the evolutionary process of mankind. Throughout time, people have had to mate as effective as possible in order to ensure the survival of their bloodline. Therefore mate selection has been a paramount activity for our early ancestors. They had to develop a strategy to find the most beneficial mate. In this theory it is hypothesized that the humans of the modern day still, consciously or unconsciously, base their mating behavior on those primal cognitive processes. Furthermore it makes a distinction between short-term and long-term mating interests. I will proceed with discussing the core principles of the theory.

Since the Sexual Strategies Theory makes a clear distinction between the mating behavior of men and women, it is necessary to discuss the sexes separately. I will start by summarizing the ideas about the mating behavior of men. A very basic sexual drive is the need for reproduction. Because the capacity for reproduction between males and females differs, this automatically leads to different sexual behavior. Since men have a nearly unlimited amount of sperm, at first sight one would say that their most effective strategy for reproduction would be quantitative: mating with as many women as possible. The Sexual Strategies theory defines this as a “Short-term Sexual Strategy”. This seems to be an easy way to increase the possibilities of reproduction, but there are a couple of disadvantages which should be...

References: 1. Tesser, A., Martin, L. L. (1996). The psychology of evaluation. In E. T. Higgins & A.W. Kruglanski (Eds), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 400-432). New York: Guilford.
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