It takes two: sexual strategies and game theory

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 41 (1):41-49 (2010)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

David Buss’s Sexual Strategies Theory is one of the major evolutionary psychological research programmes, but, as I try to show in this paper, its theoretical and empirical foundations cannot yet be seen to be fully compelling. This lack of cogency comes about due to Buss’s failure to attend to the interactive nature of his subject matter, which leads him to overlook two classic and well known issues of game theoretic and evolutionary biological analysis. Firstly, Buss pays insufficient attention to the fact that, since mate choice is a cooperative decision, what is adaptive for the two sexes individually is irrelevant to the evolutionary explanation of our sexual strategies; instead, all that matters is what is adaptive given the choices made by the other sex. Secondly, Buss does not pay enough attention to the difference between polymorphic and monomorphic evolutionarily stable states in his attempt to empirically confirm his theory. Because of this, the data he presents and analyses are unable to show that natural selection is the most important element in the explanation of the origins of our sexual strategies. In this way, I try to make clear that, at least as things stand now, Buss has failed to provide compelling grounds for thinking that Sexual Strategies Theory can make a major contribution to human psychology

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,991

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Sexual selection and mate choice in evolutionary psychology.Chris Haufe - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (1):115-128.
Beauty and the beast? : conceptualizing sex in evolutionary narratives.Erika Lorraine Milam - 2010 - In Denis Alexander & Ronald L. Numbers (eds.), Biology and Ideology From Descartes to Dawkins. London: University of Chicago Press.
Modeling social and evolutionary games.Angela Potochnik - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):202-208.
Could sexual selection have made us psychological altruists.Tom Walker - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):153-162.
Game theory and the evolution of behaviour.John Maynard Smith - 1984 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (1):95.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-09-12

Downloads
74 (#228,386)

6 months
7 (#492,113)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?