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FSU ANT 2301 - HUMAN SEXUALITY – MARRIAGE PRACTICES

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HUMAN SEXUALITY – MARRIAGE PRACTICES- Factors Influencing Attractiono Proximity Mere exposure More opportunities to meet, interact (college) People are likely to live near people of similar economic and social backgroundso Physical Attractiveness Certain features of faces are associated with attractiveness Babies prefer attractive faces Cross-culturally:- Different cultures “improve” beauty in different ways- Different body types are judged to be more attractive in different parts of the world Body type standards vary over timeo Similarity Our relationships and friendships share similar values We like those who are like ourselves Romantic pairs are similar in physical attractiveness Sense of humor is of particular importanceo Reciprocity People like positive feedback Over time, people prefer increasing affinity rather than decreasing affinity – called the “couple’s curse.” People like direct opening lines more than flippant or innocuouso Courtship Female courtship rituals:- Flirting Behaviorso Smileo Lift eyebrows in fast jerky motiono Open their eyes wideo Lower their eyelids o Tilt heads down and to the sideo Look away- Defined as a specific subset of nonverbal behavioro 52 items identified- Courtship is more important than physical attraction for garnering male interest Male Courtship Rituals- Submissive Displays: o Palms upo Shoulder shrugo Tilt head- Dominance Displays:o Entering personal spaceo Putting arm around shouldero Swagger- Resources Displays:o Paying for food, drinko Wearing expensive clotheso Bragging- Male rituals harder to chronicle than femaleo The less ritualized and more original his approach, the more likely a woman will accept it Leads to ad hoc courtship by human males- The Real Chemistry of Loveo Neurotransmitters have a profound effect on sexual attraction Two are most dramatic:- Phenylethylamine (PEA)o Associated with intense passion and attractiono Surging levels accompany the initial elation of a new loveo Chemically similar to amphetamines- Dopamineo Associated with pleasure, reward, and addictiono Its release produced great pleasure, “telling” us what we likeo Also similar to amphetamineso MRIS’s of those passionately in love show heightened activity in parts of the frontal lobes saturated with dopamine receptors- Love Styleso Hendrick and Hendrick had subjects write about a personal romantic relationship They studied the prevalence of different themes and found 6 love styles that romantic partners tend to have- Eros – Passionate Loveo Love at first siteo Men typically have higher ratings- Storge – Friendship Loveo Very close friendship becomes loveo Rated highest among subjectso Women typically have higher ratings- Ludus – Game-Playing Loveo Flirtatious and not committedo Men typically have higher ratings- Mania – Possessive Loveo Feeling of ownership over lovero Women typically have higher ratings- Pragma – Logical Loveo Cognitive appreciation for other’s qualityo Women typically have higher ratings- Agape – Selfless Loveo Putting one’s lover above one’s selfo Highly correlated with religiosity- Triarchic Model of Loveo 3 Aspects of Love (Sternberg) Intimacy: Closeness two people feel psychologically, how well partners understand each other Passion: The amount of physical/sexual attraction and romance Commitment: The cognitive factors such as the decision to maintain the relationship- Equity Theory (Homans, 1969; Messick & Cook, 1983)o Economic model of loveo Rewards include love, companionship, consolation, sexual gratification, social acceptanceo Costs include work to maintain relationship, conflict, compromise, sacrifice of other opportunities for relationshipso [(Your Benefits) / (Your Contributions)] = [(Partner’s Benefits) / (Partner’s Contributions)] Comparison Level = average expected outcome of the relationship Comparisons for Alternatives = expectation of what could be received in a different relationship Investment = what must be put into a relationship that cannot be recovered if the relationship ends- What is Marriageo No definition broad enough to apply to all societies and situationso It establishes legal parentage of childreno Gives spouses rightso Genitor: the biological father of a childo Pater: the socially recognized father of a child- Incest and Exogamyo Exogamy: the practice of seeking a spouse outside one’s own groupo Incest: having sexual relations with a close relative Incest taboo is universal But what constitutes incest varies widely through cultures- Cross-Cousin Marriage and the Incest Tabooo Parallel Cousins: children of two brothers or two sisterso Cross-Cousins: children of either a brother or a sister (depends on the sex)o There’s no universally accepted explanation as to why all cultures ban incest Focus on risks and avoidance of father-daughter incest correlates with a patriarchal nuclear family structure Focus on avoiding brother-sister incest in societies that have nonnuclear structureso Instinctive Horror Theory Homo sapiens are genetically programmed to avoid incest This theory has been refuted because specific kin types have a cultural rather than a biological basiso Biological Degeneration The incest taboo developed in response to abnormal offspring being born from incestuousunions This is partly true: offspring decline in fertility and survival follows generations of brother-sister mating BUT human marriage patterns are based on specific cultural beliefs rather than universal concerns about biological degenerationo Attempt and Contempt Malinowki and Freud argued that the incest taboo originated to direct sexual feelings away from one’s family, to avoid disrupting the family structure and relations The opposite theory argues that people are less likely to be sexually attracted to those with whom they have grown upo Marry Out or Die Out A more accepted argument is that the taboo originated to ensure exogamy Idea from Levi Strauss- Incest taboos force people to create and maintain wide social networks- Incest taboos are seen as an adaptively advantageous cultural constructo Endogamy: the marriage of people from the same group May occur in the same society as exogamy, but don’t apply to the same social unit Expresses and maintains social differences, particularly in stratified societies Homogamy: the practice of marrying someone similar


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