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What if evolution needs some men to be more involved with tending to vulnerable, pregnant mates and their offspring, in order to keep the species going strong?We have to watch out when making assumptions about sex differences, because we may invent reasons to justify our socially determined beliefs.To what extent is this really genetic and evolutionary, and to what extent is this from unidentified social, environmental, and cultural factors?Alongside biology, socially learned and intergenerationally transmitted factors (including possible epigenetic effects on mating and child-rearing passed on from our parents and grandparents' generations for how our genes are translated) are important in understanding modern relationships.
Looking at factors like sociosexuality, which cuts across gender and biological sex, will help us better understand our motives for dating and mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science, published online 16 May.I expect this last finding to change as apps become more dominant and familiar, and as younger people, who use apps now over online dating websites, age.But what about the question of biological sex versus sociosexuality in determining motivations for using online dating?This is curious, as dating apps are more stereotypically associated with casual sex, while women are thought to be more interested in committed relationships.Unsurprisingly, researchers found that those with unrestricted sociosexuality were using online dating more for casual sex than love, and those with restricted sociosexuality were more often seeking intimacy and commitment.
Next time you think about going on a date, try this experiment: Instead of making assumptions about what the other person wants as a function of their sex, ponder sociosexual orientation — and maybe even bring it up in conversation.