Having children obviously takes a lot of work—and a lot of money. It really is an enormous sacrifice in so many ways. So why do so many of us do it? What motivates us to give up so much in order to have kids? A new set of studies published in the journal Marriage and Family Review identifies 15 distinct motivations behind procreation.Read More
Incest, usually defined as sex between close blood relatives, is one of the most pervasive sexual taboos across cultures. Many different theories have been advanced to explain this taboo, but perhaps the most common is that we evolved to avoid incestuous relations because inbreeding increases the odds of health problems in any offspring produced.
So just how risky is incest anyway?Read More
On average, women in the United States hit menopause at age 51. At this point, they enter what some scientists call a “post-reproductive lifespan” (or PRLS for short), during which their bodies are no longer physically capable of sexual reproduction. Compared to other species, women are not unique in having a PRLS. In fact, so many primate and non-primate species show evidence of a PRLS that it has been classified as "a general mammalian trait" . However, the thing that is unique about humans is the relative length of the female PRLS.
So why does menopause account for such a large proportion of women’s lives?Read More
Why do humans have sex? This is a question few scientists have bothered to ask, probably because the answer seems obvious: pleasure and reproduction, of course. However, research suggests that the answer is more complicated. In fact, when people are actually asked why they have sex, hundreds of unique reasons emerge. Below, we'll take a look at some of the most and least common reasons reported for having sex and consider the ways they’re similar and different across the sexes.Read More
Evolutionary psychologists have long argued that many of the physical features heterosexual men are drawn to in women reflect traits that signify female health and fertility status. The basic argument is that our male ancestors developed an attraction to these traits because it enhanced their odds of reproductive success. These mating preferences are thought to have been passed down across generations and still influence what men are attracted to today on some primal level. In a new study just published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, researchers examined whether men’s attraction to women with more prominent rear ends might represent one such evolved mating preference.Read More
Why do human beings have sex? Surprisingly few scientists have bothered to study this question, likely because it’s one that seems to have an obvious answer: humans have sex for pleasure and for reproduction. But are humans really that simple? Not exactly. In fact, research has found that people report hundreds of distinct reasons for “getting it on!” In this article, I’d like to take a look at some of the most and least common reasons reported for having sex and consider the ways in which they’re similar and different across men and women.Read More
“Why are we so drawn to dance, and is it really equivalent to a human mating call? More importantly, does dancing increase your potential to ‘get some?’”
In the fascinating video below, the folks over at ASAP Science take a look at the science behind dancing and come to the conclusion that our groovy might have evolved to serve a very important purpose. In fact, it was Darwin who first suggested that dance might represent some human mating ritual that has implications for survival and reproduction. How so? Dancing may be one very visible way of demonstrating your genetic fitness to potential mates. And we aren’t the only species that does this—some animals and insects also use dance to communicate their sexual desirability.Read More
Evolutionary psychologists believe that men and women have evolved fundamentally different mating strategies in order to maximize the chances of passing along their genes to future generations. It is theorized that men developed a tendency to pursue short-term sexual encounters with young and curvy women, whereas women developed a tendency to hold out for long-term relationships with reliable men who have the resources necessary to take care of them and any offspring they might produce . There is a substantial amount of research supporting the idea that men and women are looking for different things in their mates and these preferences generally fall along the lines predicted by this theory; however, a recent set of studies suggests that these tendencies are so deeply ingrained that we may have even developed a preference for popular media that reinforces these sexual strategies.Read More