The Science behind Sexual Selection!

The Science behind Sexual Selection!

Sexual selection in the animal kingdom mostly consists of males competing where the female will choose the victor male as her mate. The term for which males compete is known as either intrasexual selection or intersexual selection. The term intrasexual selection relates to direct competing for access to the females. Whereas, intersexual selection can be carried out in many forms like presenting certain abilities or characteristics to impress a female. In return, this would be deemed to offer healthy genes, and in some cases protection for herself and her young.



But, this is not the same in all species, in some species the males can offer a lot more than just good genes.

So, how does this affect sexual selection?

To understand this, it is best to focus on sexual selection in humans.

Like most species as mention, the female invest largely in parenting their children, which we know leads to the female becoming choosy to which male is best suited for their mate, and as a long term partner, such as marriage. Because of this males also compete in various ways to gain access to females as shown in other species, but maybe in a more discrete fashion.

So what is different?

Well, in the case of humans more than most males adopt parenting, just as the female does. Due to this the dynamics of sexual selection as presented in other species tends to be, in this situation, unbalanced on the female's behalf. This type of sexual selection then allows the male to be choosy also. Therefore, not only do you have male to male competition and female choice, it allows for the introduction of female to female competition and male choice.

The Science behind Sexual Selection!

Why opt for the long term relationship?

There is thought to be many benefits in investing in a long term relationship. Women tend to benefit due to


significant resources from a mate and a great paternal investment. Whereas, men tend to also benefit from a long term relationship due to aspects like an increased reproductive certainty, higher-quality children and a sexual and social companionship.  These benefits out way the potential benefits of a short term relationship and the cost of long term relationship, meaning long term relationships for humans in most cases is a natural choice.

What is the perfect man?

Some studies have shown that men who thrive in their social environment or culturally successful, tend to be more preferred as a mate. However, it is unclear why, but some successful mates use this status to their advantage to achieve a mate which would only be carried out as a short term relationship. This may occur because the male has a more significant social status, so the opportunity to reproduce is much higher than average, therefore there is little need to invest long term.

Women prefer marriage partners that are more culturally successful or have the potential to become culturally successful. Studies have shown this also to be an advantage, due to the female and child have access to the much-needed resources, whilst also leading to an increase in longevity for both the mother and child.

However, other studies do show that behavioural and personal aspect is rated much higher than that of cultural success. For example, it is believed that a female would be more incline to choose a marriage partner who showed aspects such as kindness, understanding and intelligence over a prospective husband who showed none of these aspects but was culturally successful.

Lastly the obvious, attractiveness. Yes, it is thought that a handsome husband holds great advantages. Firstly, that the male has good healthy genes, reducing the risk of disease being passed to her offspring. Secondly, an attractive husband is thought to produce attractive children, therefore, increasing the child chances of reproducing in later life. There are many factors that can be classed as attractive, some being height, waist size, facial hair, eye size, smile size area, a prominent cheekbone and chin plus many more, all based on studies, which are different in every culture.

So, overall a women’s ideal man would need to be handsome, who is successful, and has a great personality, the personality being the important factor, (of course).


 What are the perfect women for long term relationships?

As mentioned due to paternal instinct men like women are choosy in their partners. However, women are still the choosier sex.

Studies have also shown men to prefer women with specific personal and behavioural attributes. For example, men prefer women who are intelligent, with a good personality, who is friendly, and with a great sense of humour. These attributes were found to be just as important or even more important than the attractiveness of the female herself.


Different to women the attractiveness of a female is found to be a necessity, as opposed to women regarding attractiveness as a luxury. Once again physical attractiveness is correlated by many factors and differ in each culture. Some include waist to hip ratio of 0.7, certain facial features and facial symmetry and lastly age.

Some may question age as being a factor, but it is thought that age is correlated with the fertility of the female. For example, a women's fertility is shown to peak at age 25 and declines gradually to near zero at the age of 45.

Although there are many factors involved in the choice in which a male chooses a female mate, it is more of a focus that the personality attributes are present.

There are many factors and reasons why married couples get together, these are just factor from an evolutionary standpoint. Plus society and culture are becoming more diverse, the evolution of sexual selection may become even more complicated.

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