1. The rational behind sexual selection is that random mating is irrational, people choose particular mates as the genetic quality of a mate will determine half the genetic quality of any offspring. Low-quality mates (e.g. those that are unattractive and unhealthy) will be more likely to produce unattractive, unhealthy offspring. Bu mating with an attractive high-quality mate, offspring are higher quality and an individual's genes are much more likely to be passed on.
2. Penton-Voak et al suggest that mate choice varies across the metrual cycle. They found women chose a slightly feminised version of a male face as "most attractive" for a long-term relationship. However, for a short-term sexual relationship, during the high conception risk phase of the menstrual cycle, the preferred face shape was more masculinised. Sexual selection may have favoured females who pursue a mixzed mating strategy under certain conditions. A female might choose a main partner whose feminised appearance suggests kindness and cooperation in parental care, but ight also copulate with a male with a more masculine appearance when conception is most likely. Such males are likely to have higher levels of the sex hormone testosterone which suppresses the immune system. A male who is healthy despite this must, therefore have a highly efficient immune system-a very valuable characteristic to pass on to offspring.
One of the conclusions from Buss' study of 37 cultures was that men have a distinct preference for younger women, a finding consistent with the theory of sexual selection because the younger the woman, the greater the fertility. However, some critics have tried to explain this preference in terms of social power- younger women are easier to control, and therefore are preferred as mates. But Kenrick et all effectively rejected this hypothesis as they found that teenage males are most attracted to women who are five years older than them despite the fact such women usually show no interest in them and are certainly not more easily controlled-this could also link to the theory that men seek women who look more fertile as for teenage boys a woman 5 years older than them is likely to be her most fertile and also the women in this age group are portrayed in the media most often so men will be influenced by this.
13th EditionLori Watson, Patrick J. Hurley 12th EditionPatrick J. Hurley