Males, Females Swap Sex-Role Stereotypes: Analysis Finds That Mating Strategies Are Not Universal
Bower, Bruce, Science News
Chuck that nonsense about "men are from Mars, women are from Venus." Here on Earth, the sexes play the mating game with a flexible set of rules. A new study suggests that scientists should abandon the idea that males evolved to be promiscuous and females to be selective.
Combined data from 18 modern and traditional societies show greater overall variation in reproductive success for men than for women--with some men producing lots of children with multiple partners and other men conceiving few or no children, say psychologist Gillian Brown of the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, and her colleagues. Women tend to have a handful of children.
In the past, researchers have treated this pattern as a sign of universal mating tendencies, with women limiting how many children they bear and men conceiving as many children as possible.
Yet the same pattern of distinctive male and female sex roles doesn't appear when many of these same 18 societies are examined individually, Brown's group reports in the June Trends in Ecology & …
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Publication information: Article title: Males, Females Swap Sex-Role Stereotypes: Analysis Finds That Mating Strategies Are Not Universal. Contributors: Bower, Bruce - Author. Magazine title: Science News. Volume: 175. Issue: 11 Publication date: May 23, 2009. Page number: 5+. © 2009 Science Service, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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