Relationships can be explained by both sexual selection and the human reproductive system; however they both differ from each other. Sexual selection explains how evolution is driven by competitions for mating and to ensure the characteristics that are chose allow the reproduction to be a success. The human reproductive behaviour explains the strategies that both males and females take on. Sexual selection has two types, Intra-sexual selection and Inter- sexual selection. Intra-sexual selection is men competing towards each other for females.
This allowed men to evolve into bigger, stronger males with more manly characteristics. Inter-sexual selection involves females choosing their males. They seek partners who can provide them with resources such as a home and wealth as well as protection. Due to the two types of selection, both male and females have evolved leading to better characteristics. Evolutionary theory states that body symmetry and symmetrical faces are desired characteristics, Cartwright (2000) found that women who have symmetrical breasts are more fertile than those with asymmetrical breasts.
This supports the idea that body symmetry indicates reproductive fitness which leads to evolved characteristics, and allows women to have high self-esteem. Furthermore, other than symmetrical body and face structures males use physical attractiveness to judge how fit a female is to reproduce. Men look of more attractive females however females look for men who can provide good state of wealth. This is due to men only looking for the characteristics of reproduction and successive care of children from females.
Although men and women both look into different characteristic, females are choosier since they have a larger investment and therefore more to lose. However, the study cannot be supported since a disadvantage of this study is that female may alter the appearance in order to seem young and fertile, while men may also lie and exaggerate on the amount of resources they have in order to get females to mate.
Buss conducted a study testing participants from 37 cultures, finding that men like young, attractive females while females prefer men who are rich, ambitious and industrious. A criticism of this study is that it was conducted via a questionnaire. The problem with questionnaires is that individuals may lie or exaggerate about their mate preference in order to fit with the norm of satisfy social desirability. The female handicap hypothesis states that females choose male with handicap features such as smoking, drugs etc.
This is because the find men are more superior and show a sign of genetic fitness. Grammer and Thornhill (1994) found that females choose men with masculine features which suppress the immune system since only the healthy mates can produce masculine features. The research doesn’t support the theory since it shows that women do care about features rather than only if they have genetic fitness. The features allow females to generate an investment in anosogamy which leads to their ‘sexy son hypotheses, since they sexually select the genes.
One of the many male strategies for mating success includes size. Since males selective females that are the most reproductively fittest, they evolve to be biggest and show strength of success in competition against other males for females. The evolutionary theory supports this strategy as it states the men do evolve do to characteristics gained from previous reproduction. This indicates that the characteristics must have been gained from successive male and female reproduction.
The evolutionary theory as a whole has a lot of faults. Deviant activities such as rape and forced sexual activities also cause a success in reproduction, however this doesn’t mean that the reproduction must of occurred due to the male and female strategies nor does it suggest that individuals choose who they mate with. The theory is also a educationalist as it ignores other factors such as cultural influences on why reproductive success occurs.