Several theoretical perspectives have generated research on grandparental investment, notably socialization and evolutionary psychological perspectives. Using data collected from more than 200 older adults (mean age 67 years), we test three hypotheses derived from socialization and evolutionary perspectives about grandparents’ relationships with and investment in grandchildren. Results indicate that (1) emotional closeness with both children and children-in-law is positively related to reports of emotional closeness with grandchildren; (2) maternal grandmothers invest more in grandchildren than do other grandparents; and (3) grandparents (...) invest more in daughters’ children than in sons’ children. Discussion addresses limitations of self-report methodology in this context and situates the current findings within the body of research indicating the existence of psychological mechanisms designed to guide differential nepotism. (shrink)
Young men are more distressed by a partner’s sexual infidelity, whereas young women are more distressed by a partner’s emotional infidelity. The present research investigated (a) whether the sex difference in jealousy replicates in an older sample, and (b) whether younger people differ from older people in their selection of the more distressing infidelity scenario. We presented forced-choice dilemmas to 202 older people (mean age = 67 years) and to 234 younger people (mean age = 20 years). The sex difference (...) replicated in the older sample. In addition, older women were less likely than younger women to select a partner’s emotional infidelity as more distressing than a partner’s sexual infidelity. Discussion offers directions for future work on sex differences and age differences in jealousy. (shrink)
Using data collected from people with at least one brother and one sister, and consistent with an evolutionary perspective, we find that older men and women (a) are more upset by a brother’s partner’s sexual infidelity than by her emotional infidelity and (b) are more upset by a sister’s partner’s emotional infidelity than by his sexual infidelity. There were no effects of participant sex or sex of in-law on upset over a sibling’s partner’s infidelities, but there was an effect of (...) participant sex on reports of upset over one’s own partner’s infidelities. The results suggest that the key variable among older participants is the sex of the sibling or, correspondingly, the sex of the sibling’s partner, as predicted from an evolutionary analysis of reproductive costs, and not the sex of the participant, as predicted from a socialization perspective. Discussion offers directions for future work on jealousy. (shrink)
To refine our understanding of grandparental investment and its consequences, we need to understand what grandparents do for their grandchildren. Knowing the landscape of grandparental investment will facilitate a better understanding of the impact of grandparental investment on grandchildren and will allow inroads to be made in bridging the different levels of analysis.
Analyses of between-sex differences have provided a powerful starting point for evolutionarily informed work on human sexuality. This early work set the stage for an evolutionary analysis of within-sex differences in human sexuality. A comprehensive theory of human sexual strategies must address both between-sex differences and within-sex differences in evolved psychology and manifest behavior.