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Sexual Preferences Theories, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1467

Essay

There is much to be said in reference to Sexual Preferences Theories. The first theory is that of the good gene perspective. The general idea behind this theory is that females choose males who have indicators of genetic fitness. Females prefer males who are physically fit as this helps in the deterrence of diseases for their offspring and helps the genetics of their offspring as well. This theory is based exactly on what it says: good genes. According to chapter 9, “it has been suggested that masculine appearance is reflective of good genes” (p. 268). Therefore, women want men who do have a masculine appearance as this tells them that they have good genes. Women not only want to mate with the men that have the best genes, but they also want to have sexual relations with those men that have different genes from their own. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it increases resistance to infectious diseases in their offspring (Chapter 9, p. 268).  Fitness related traits have more variation in relation to genetics than do any other traits and this helps the woman bear children who are going to be happy and healthy.

The second theory is the good provider theory. Women are more concerned with whether the men in their lives will be good provider for them and for their children. According to chapter 9, “this theory suggests that females choose males who possess traits that either enhance the female’s own survival or enhance the survival of the offspring” (p. 264-265). Some of the common resources for this theory include food, protection, and care of the young.

Another theory is the Sexual Strategies Theory developed by David Buss and David Schmitt. This theory was based on Robert Triver’s parental investment theory. The basic idea of the theory includes the following:

Males and females have evolved a variety of mating strategies, especially in terms of the perceived length of the relationship. That is, if the person sees the future of the relationship to be short term, a different strategy would be adopted than if she sees it as a long term relationship. In long-term mating, males are hypothesized to place a greater premium on signs of fertility and reproductive values such as youth and physical appearance. Females are seen to place value on factors related to a male’s ability to take care of the family, including such factors as the male’s status, resources, and maturity (Chapter 9, p. 270-271).

In reference to this theory, many females have preferences for men who would aid in the survival of their offspring, whereas men have preferences for women who are healthy and able to give birth. Males seek younger women while females seek older men.

Finally, attraction is another key component in reference to sexual preference theories. Males tend to look for women withsmall noses, large eyes and full lips as this is seen as attractive to them. Females tend to look for the opposite in men. Their attraction is geared more towards men having larger noses, strong jaws and chins and high cheekbones. However, symmetry is common in preferences for both men and women in reference to their attractiveness. “Symmetry is determined by drawing a vertical line from the forehead through the nose and ending in the chin” (Chapter 9, p. 277). It has been found throughout many studies that “ratings of attractiveness are positively associated with symmetry” (Chapter 9, p. 277). Many males and females do not find extreme facial characteristics to be very attractive. Therefore, symmetry is very important. Men and women are both attracted to each other if they have more average traits rather than those that tend to stick out like a sore thumb. It is important to state one more thing in reference to attraction. Many believe that a person is attractive if they are physically fit and keep up with fitness. Attractiveness is related to fitness and how our bodies look due to the amount of fitness we undertake. The more a person works out and takes care of his or her body, the greater probability that they will be considered attractive by the opposite sex. We must take fitness into account because a lot of that has to do with the way we look and the way in which we treat our bodies. Many individuals expect attractive people to continue to care for their body in more ways than one.

Males and females have differed sexually from the beginning of time. This not only means in humans, but in animals as well. However, it is important to look at exactly how males and females are sexually different when speaking of humans. In reference to their physical appearances and sexuality, females have larger breasts and a greater orgasmic capacity. Females also have the ability to have interest in certain types of sexual activity during the time in which they are on their menstrual cycle. “Men, on the other hand, have long, thick, and flexible penises and more facial hair” (Chapter 9).

Chapter 8 discusses many different aspects of the sexual differences in males and females. These aspects include sexual desire, commitment, sexuality and aggression, and flexibility in sexuality. Sexual desire is one component in which men and women are sexually different. Overall, men are more interested in sex than women are and this can be detected in many ways according to chapter 8. “Males report thinking about sex more often than females, including having more sexual fantasies and feelings of desire” (Chapter 8). This seems to be inevitable. Many men are consistently thinking about sex. The saying “men thinking with their penises” is partially true more often than not. They expect more sex than women and want it more often. Chapter 8 states the following:

Recent brain imaging research has shown that males produce greater activation of the amygdala and hypothalamus than females in response to viewing sexual stimuli, although both males and females showed similar responses in areas of the brain associated with reward, and both rated the material as equally arousing (Hamann, Herman, Nolan &Wallen, 2004).

In addition, males seek sex more than women do. They are more interested in sex and find sex more pleasurable the majority of the time. This is also the case in reference to homosexuals.

Commitment is another way in which males and females differ sexually. When asked about sexual desire, males are more interested in the physical desire of and intercourse. Men have more urges physically than do women. In contrast, women are more likely to describe the relationship elements when asked about sexual desire. Women focus more on the relationship and the commitment of the male partner than do men. In addition, women tend to have more fantasies about the person in which they are with or committed to, whereas men have no problem having fantasies of other women. Finally, in relation to commitment, men are also more likely to engage in premarital and extramarital sex than are females. Women want more commitment than sex and men want more sex than commitment.

Aggression is another component in which males and females differ. Since men are considered the masculine and more powerful of the two, men have no problem using aggression when having sex and when thinking about sex. Many of their fantasies include aggression. Females, on the other hand, are not likely to care so much about being aggressive in the bedroom. Males are much more likely to involve aggression, power, and dominance in their sexual relations with women as this is how many of them were raised. They expect to have power and dominance over their female counterparts. They also tend to take the lead in the beginning or early stages of the relationship and are more apt to use physical force to initiate sexual intercourse than are women.

Finally, flexibility is a component of the sexual differences in males and females. According to chapter 8, “the research suggests that males are less sensitive to situational factors than females in terms of sexual behaviors” (p.253). Chapter 8 discusses three themes in reference to this concept. One theme is that once a male’s sexual tastes emerge, these continue to be stable. Males do not necessarily budge in this aspect. Another theme is that a female’s predispositions are more influenced by her culture and the society in which she lives. Many females feel as if they are required (or not required) to have certain sexual desires based on their culture. “The final theme is that the relationship between one’s attitudes toward sexuality and one’s behavior will be different for males and females” (Chapter 8, p. 253). Females will show a higher correlation towards their culture and the society in which they live, whereas men will show a higher correlation towards their own attitudes and behaviors in relation to sex and sexual desire

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