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Chapter 7. Mate Selection. Chapter Outline. Cultural Aspects of Mate Selection Sociological Factors Operative in Mate Selection Psychological Factors Operative in Mate Selection Sociobiological Factors Operative in Mate Selection. Chapter Outline. Engagement

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Chapter 7 l.jpg

Chapter 7

Mate Selection


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Chapter Outline

  • Cultural Aspects of Mate Selection

  • Sociological Factors Operative in Mate Selection

  • Psychological Factors Operative in Mate Selection

  • Sociobiological Factors Operative in Mate Selection


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Chapter Outline

  • Engagement

  • Consider Calling Off the Wedding If . . .

  • Ending an Unsatisfactory Relationship


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True or False?

  • Persons who participate in a premarital education program show no benefits in relationship quality when compared with nonparticipants.


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Answer: False

  • Research shows that the average participant in a premarital prevention program experienced about a 30% increase in measures of outcome success. They were more likely than nonparticipants to experience immediate and short-term gains in interpersonal skills and overall relationship quality.


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True or False?

  • The more individuals have in common, the higher their reported relationship happiness and quality.


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Answer: True

  • The more individuals have in common, the higher their reported relationship happiness and quality.


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True or False?

  • Persons who end up being in a happy, durable marriage knew each other at least two years before they married.


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Answer: True

  • Persons who end up being in a happy, durable marriage knew each other at least two years before they married.


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Cultural Aspects of Mate Selection

  • Fewer than 1% of persons marry someone outside their race.

  • Independent of sexual orientation, two forms of cultural pressure operative in mate selection are:

    • Endogamy - Expectation to marry within one’s social group.

    • Exogamy - Expectation to marry outside one’s own family group.


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Mate Selection

  • Pg. 195

  • Film writer/director Woody Allen was the target of social disapproval when he violated the principle of exogamy by marrying the adopted daughter of his long-time partner, Mia Farrow.


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Homogamy

  • The homogamy theory of mate selection states that we tend to be attracted to and become involved with those who are similar to us in age, race, religion, and social class.

  • The more couples have in common, the higher the reported relationship satisfaction and the more durable the relationship.

  • Physical appearance

  • Marriage status

  • Personality

  • Propinquity


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Common Homogenous Characteristics

  • Age

  • Race

  • Religion

  • Education

  • Social class


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Interracial Marriage

  • Pg. 196

  • Although most couples are open to interracial dating (this couple lives together), fewer are open to getting married.


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Question

  • The cultural expectation to find a mate within one's social group is called

    • homogamy.

    • exogamy.

    • monogamy.

    • endogamy.


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Answer: D

  • The cultural expectation to find a mate within one's social group is called endogamy.


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Spirituality and Religion in Mate Selection

  • Couples with a homogeneous religious marriage may have greater marital stability due to the value of religion for resolving conflicts.

  • Religious literature often provides practical, down-to-earth suggestions for relationship enhancement.


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Complementary-Needs Theory

  • States that we select mates whose needs are opposite and complementary to our own.

  • Questions raised about this theory:

    • Can personality needs be met outside the relationship?

    • What is a complementary need as opposed to a similar value?

    • Could a dependent person develop confidence and no longer need to be with a dominant person?


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Exchange Theory

  • Mate selection is based on who offers the greatest rewards at the lowest cost:

    • Rewards - Behaviors and resources that influence you to continue the relationship.

    • Cost - Unpleasant aspects of the relationship.

    • Profit - When rewards exceed costs.

    • Loss - When costs exceed rewards.

    • Alternative - Does another person offer a higher profit margin?


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Parental Characteristics

  • Freud suggested that the choice of a love object in adulthood represents a shift in libidinal energy from the first love objects—the parents.

  • Role theory and modeling theory emphasize that a son or daughter models after the parent of the same sex by selecting a partner similar to the one the parent selected.


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Sociobiology

  • Men and women select mates on the basis of their concern for producing offspring.

    • Men look for a young, healthy, attractive, sexually conservative woman who will produce healthy children and take care of them.

    • Women look for an ambitious man with good economic capacity who will invest resources in her children.


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Criticisms of the Sociobiology

  • Women show concern for the earning capacity of men because they have been denied access to similar economic resources.

  • Both women and men think about their partners more as companions than as future parents of their offspring.


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Question

  • Which scenario best describes complementary needs theory?

    • selection of mates with opposite values

    • selection of mates with similar looks

    • selection of mates with similar values

    • selection of mates with different looks


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Answer: A

  • A selection of mates with opposite values best describes complementary needs theory.


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Question

  • Which of the following emphasizes that people select partners who offer the greatest benefits at the least cost?

    • profit margin

    • complimentary needs theory

    • exchange theory

    • principle of least interest


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Answer: C

  • Exchange theory emphasizes that people select partners who offer the greatest benefits at the least cost.


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Question

  • Sociobiology

    • proposes that behavior in selecting mates is reduced to environmental factors.

    • makes scientific inquiry to the notion that men are attracted to younger women and women are attracted to men with money.

    • discredits Charles Darwin's natural selection process theory.

    • goes against traditional stereotypes of American culture.


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Answer: B

  • Sociobiology makes scientific inquiry to the notion that men are attracted to younger women and women are attracted to men with money.


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Desired Personality Characteristics for a Mate

  • Men and women report that the personality characteristics of being warm, kind, open, and having a sense of humor were very important to them in selecting a romantic/sexual partner.


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Personality Characteristics Predictive of Divorce

  • Disagreeable/low positives

    • Partners who always find something to argue about and who find few opportunities to make positive observations should be considered with caution.

  • Poor impulse control

    • Persons who have poor impulse control have little self-restraint and may be prone to aggression and violence.


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Personality Characteristics Predictive of Divorce

  • Hypersensitivity

    • When any negative statement or criticism is received with a greater impact than intended, couples lose the ability to talk through problems.

  • Inflated ego

    • Someone with an inflated sense of self may be less likely to consider the other person’s opinion in a conflict and prefer to dictate an outcome.


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Personality Characteristics Predictive of Divorce

  • Being neurotic

    • Such individuals are perfectionists and require of themselves and others that they be perfect.

  • Anxiety

    • Husbands who report high levels of anxiety tend to report lower marital adjustment.


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Personality Characteristics Predictive of Divorce

  • Insecurity

    • Insecurity compromises marital happiness.

  • Control

    • Individuals who are controlled by their family, former partner, or whomever compromise the marriage because their allegiance is external to the relationship.






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Engagement

  • Asking Specific Questions

    • Partners may neither ask nor reveal information that they feel will be met with disapproval during casual dating.

    • The engagement is a time to get specific about the other partner’s thoughts, feelings, values, goals, and expectations.


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Engagement

  • Visiting Partner’s Parents

    • If you want to know what your partner may be like in the future, look at his or her parent of the same sex.

    • If you want to know how your partner is likely to treat you in the future, observe the way your partner’s parent of the same sex treats and interacts with his or her spouse.


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Visiting Partner’s Parents

  • Pg. 207

  • The girl should focus on how her boyfriend’s father treats his mother, as this is how her boyfriend is likely to treat her.

  • The boy should look at how the girl’s mother treats her father, as this is how the girlfriend is likely to treat him.


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Engagement

  • Premarital Programs and Counseling

    • Some premarital couples attend the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP).

    • Couples who learned how to communicate and negotiate conflict been less likely than a control group to divorce or separate.

    • They also report greater marital satisfaction, fewer conflicts, and less physical violence.


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Engagement

  • Prenuptial Agreement

    • Designed to specify how property will be divided if the marriage ends in divorce or by the death of one partner.

    • Reasons for a prenuptial agreement:

      • Protecting assets for children from a prior relationship.

      • Protecting business associates.


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Consider Calling Off the Wedding If . . .

  • Age 18 or Younger

    • Individuals who marry in their teens have a greater risk of divorce.

  • Known Partner Less Than Two Years

    • Partners who date at least two years before getting married report the highest level of marital satisfaction.


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Consider Calling Off the Wedding If . . .

  • Abusive Relationship

    • Partners who emotionally and/or physically abuse their partners while dating continue this in marriage.

  • Numerous Significant Differences

    • Persons who report the greatest degree of satisfaction in relationships have a great deal in common.


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Consider Calling Off the Wedding If . . .

  • On-and-Off Relationship

    • Couples who routinely break up and get back together should examine the issues that recur in their relationship.

  • Dramatic Parental Disapproval

    • If the parents of either partner disapprove of, the partners should try to evaluate these concerns objectively.


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Consider Calling Off the Wedding If . . .

  • Low Sexual Satisfaction

    • Sexual satisfaction is linked to relationship satisfaction, love, and commitment.

  • Marrying for the Wrong Reason


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Marrying for the Wrong Reason

  • Examples include:

    • Rebound

    • Escape

    • Unanticipated pregnancy

    • Psychological blackmail

    • Pity

    • Filling a void


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Question

  • In a comparing couples who have gone through pre-marital counseling versus those who have not, pre-marital counseling has been shown to have which of the following effects on a marriage?

    • either more positive or more negative, depending on the dynamics of the couple

    • negative

    • positive

    • none at all


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Answer: C

  • In a comparing couples who have gone through pre-marital counseling versus those who have not, pre-marital counseling has been shown to have positive effects on a marriage.


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Runaway Bride

  • Pg. 218

  • Jennifer Wilbanks ran away just days before her wedding which 600 guests were to attend.

  • Having anxiety about one's wedding is normal.

  • Getting cold feet to the point of not showing up one’s wedding day is unusual.


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Before Ending a Relationship

  • Is there any desire or hope to revive and improve the relationship?

  • Acknowledge and accept that terminating a relationship may be painful for both partners.

  • Blame yourself for the end.

    • If you give your partner a way to make things better, you may feel obligated to give your partner a second chance if he or she promises change.


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Before Ending a Relationship

  • Cut off the relationship completely.

    • If you are ending the relationship, it will be easier for you to continue to see the other person, but the other person will heal faster if you stay away.

  • Learn from the terminated relationship.

    • Recognize your contribution to the breakup and work on characteristics that might be a source of problems to future relationships.

  • Allow time to grieve over the end of the relationship.


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Recovering from a Broken Heart

  • Some findings from a study about recovery from breakups:

    • Sex differences - Women were more likely (50%) than men (40%) to initiate the breakup.

    • Sex differences - Men reported more difficulty than women in adjusting to a breakup.

    • Factors in recovery - The passage of time and involvement with a new partner were the most helpful factors in getting over a breakup.


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