Evolutionary psychologists view human behavior and psychological traits as a result of evolutionary adaptation in response to reproductive needs – much like the concept of natural selection applied to reproduction, or sexual selection. Drawing from this perspective, evolutionary psychologists and professionals seek to explain the differences between male and female dating and mating rituals and sexual attitudes and how they have evolved throughout the centuries.
For example, researchers employ the evolutionary perspective to discuss the differences in male and female promiscuity, aggressiveness, dominance, dating patterns, and the development of sexual attitudes – differences which seem to become less apparent in modern times than the more traditional sexual values expressed throughout history. Evolutionary psychologists would propose that differences between male and female promiscuity are a result of the evolving need to ensure reproduction.
While traditional female sexual attitudes and values are evolving and females are increasingly becoming more comfortable in expressing sexual aggression or dominance in modern times, these traditional differences may be explained from the standpoint of adaptation to reproductive demands as well. Women are more limited in reproductive opportunity than men, having a limited number of eggs and a limited amount of time in which to reproduce optimally, while men have a much more unlimited reproductive opportunity with hundreds of thousands of available sperm and a many more reproductively-viable years than women.
Evolutionary psychologists would propose that the differences in sexual attitudes and behaviors among men and women are directly attributable to these reproductive differences as evidenced by the innate desire of men for sexual promiscuity, as compared to the highly selective manner of reproductive behavior among women.
While the evolution of social attitudes towards female sexuality has produced an acceptance of evolving sexual behavior among women, evolutionary professionals propose that the innate differences between men and women with regard to parenting style, romantic behavior, preferences in sexual partners, and the extent to which looks and personality play a role in mating selection, are a result of evolutionary adaptations.
Evolutionary psychology would propose that male and female sexual behavior is centered on the innate need to optimize reproductive opportunity – men being visually stimulated and aggressive in order to ensure a fertile mate and reproductive opportunity, while women express nurturance and attraction towards partners who can provide, ensuring survival of the family unit. These sexual and mating differences, according to evolutionary psychology, ensure the passing on of ones’ genes.