Reddit Reddit reviews The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

We found 20 Reddit comments about The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature
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20 Reddit comments about The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature:

u/[deleted] · 15 pointsr/TheRedPill

A very indepth introduction to evolutionary psychology by Leda Cosmides and John Tooby:

A collection of some university evolutionary psychology notes and modules:

Pop science Evolutionary Psychology book recomendations:

The Moral Animal

The Red Queen

The Mating mind - and a Summary

The Evolution of Human Sexuality - Most comprehensive of the books, a bit more academic than the others. Written by one of the founders of evolutionary psychology.

u/tbessie · 6 pointsr/childfree

Well, youthful-looking, clear skin and eyes, healthy, all the "right" physical attributes - I think plenty of people do. Some people are able to subvert that, but I'd say most people go for the "able to have/raise kids successfully" attractiveness thing.

Good book on sexual selection:

The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

u/jjberg2 · 6 pointsr/askscience

Well, the thing about this question is really haven't really figured out a good way to actually answer it. The phenotype is poorly defined (what, exactly, is "intelligence", in scientific terms?), the conditions under which it evolved are not all that well known, and the genetic architecture underlying it has to to be enormously complex. Couple that with the fact that the one species that exhibits the phenotype (humans), is the one that we can't do genetic experiments on (for obvious reasons), and I think you'll see why it's so difficult.

Nonetheless, it is a really fascinating question, so there have been many attempts to sort of "logic out" some answers. Unfortunately (for you, at least), I'm not terribly well read on the topic, so I'm not sure how much help I can be. Even worse, the wikipedia article on the topic really leaves something to be desired. It still might not be a bad idea to read through it (or at least the "models" section), as the basic ideas are right, and should give you a feel for what current thinking is. I would recommend that you take anything state there as if it were fact with a grain of salt, however, unless you can actually find the statement in a citation, and the citation seems credible. Some sections of that article look to me like they were written by individuals clearly biased in favor of or against one or the other of the hypotheses.

Worst of all, I think the article does a really terrible job with my personal favorite hypothesis, the runaway sexual selection one, so I'll do a quick run down on that one, just to give you an idea.

The first thing we need to get over is the apparent "sexism" of many sexual selection hypotheses. That is, the notion that males are competitive, and try to mate with as many females as possible, while females are choosy, preferring to mate with only the "best" males. This logic results from the fact that females have to invest a lot of time and energy in childbirth (nine months, and all the other stuff that comes with being pregnant for humans), whereas the commitment is far less for males. Also, once a female is pregnant, she can't get pregnant again until she's had the kid, so she'd better be sure she's getting the best bang for her buck, genetically speaking, that she can. Males, on the other hand, can just turn around and mate with a new female as quick as they can convince one to do so. This creates a dichotomy between the sexes. Males are competitive, females are choosy.

Now, moving on. Imagine you have a population of humans who have some degree of genetic variation in intelligence. Imagine also, that there is genetic variation among females as to how desirable they find intelligence to be in a mate. So we have intelligent males, and unintelligent males. And we have choosy females, and non-choosy females. So, obviously, the choosy females are going to mate predominantly with the intelligent males, and they're offspring are going to be both choosy, and intelligent. The non-choosy females will not really care who they mate with (at least not with regard to their intelligence), so their offspring will be closer to average intelligence, and not terribly choosy. The unintelligent males, however, will only really mate with the non-choosy females, as the choosy ones will reject them.

So, you see, in this model, the more intelligent a male is, the more mating opportunities he has. The most intelligent males can mate with the choosiest of females, and with the least choosy, while the least intelligent males can only mate with the females who don't give a damn how smart they are. So, being intelligent leads to having more offspring, which means genes for intelligence will spread through the population.

Interestingly (and less obviously), choosiness also spreads through the population under this model. This is because choosy females will mate with intelligent males, and as such their male offspring will be more intelligent. Those males also carry the genes for choosiness though, so their daughters will be choosy. And because those intelligent sons will be the best at reproducing in their generation, there will be an increase in the average choosiness of the females during the next generation. Thus, choosiness of females increases alongside intelligence of males.

Now, you may be thinking, "But wait! If intelligence is only valuable in males, and choosiness only in females, then why are women smart, and men choosy (well, at least to some extent)?". This is a problem. To my knowledge, however, all of the other candidate explanations either far less compelling, or running in to problems of similar difficulty. I believe that Geoffrey Miller, the leading proponent of the runaway selection hypothesis of human intelligence (he wrote entire book on topic, by the title of The Mating Mind; it may be worth a read if you're interested, although from what I've heard, it may be a wee bit dense for someone not well versed in evolution) dismisses this concern by stating simply that the genetics behind intelligence (and choosiness) must not be sexually dimorphic, so by selecting for more intelligent males, females were also bequeathing their daughters with genes for intelligence, and their sons with genes for choosiness.

It seems the optimal thing to do, from a strict cost benefit analysis perspective, would be to have genes for intelligence down regulated in females so they don't waste all that energy investing in complex, intelligent brains, when it could be better spent on reproduction (see what I mean about the "sexism" concerns; we have to be careful and realize that we're not passing judgements on what "should" or "should not" be, but rather what makes cold, calculated, evolutionary sense). Perhaps females had to be as intelligent as their male counterparts to be good judges of males intelligence when they were being choosy.......or something?

As you can see, I've delved quite far enough into hand-waving nonsense at this point, so I'll stop. This inevitably seems to happen whenever we try to figure out why humans are so gosh darn smart. It's an interesting question, but just not one that has a whole lot of really good, sound answers yet. And unfortunately, most of the hypotheses that sound reasonable, are also extremely hard to test.

Hope that...uh...helped.....

edit: I just realized that I didn't actually address some of your direct questions.

>Is human-level intelligence just an unlikely thing because so much has to go right, so it's surprising that even one species evolved to have it?

Possibly because so much has to go right (i.e. it is genetically very complex, and in many cases the mutations may simply never arise), but I think more importantly because it just doesn't seem to be all that necessary. Basically, all the really stupid animals do just fine. They have other strategies besides intelligence, and as long as they manage to reproduce, survive to reproductive age, reproduce again, etc., they don't need to be intelligent.

>Or are we simply the first of many, and we can expect to play chess against lions in 30 million years?

Seems doubtful, given what I just said above. Evolution is pretty much impossible to predict though (at least at the macro scale), so we can't really know.

u/the_gnarts · 4 pointsr/programming

> Lemons Markets -- This so true. If you have never done IT purchasing, you don't understand the pain from both dealing with vendors and convincing the business. Also, This marketing isn't dissimilar to linguistic research on food.

Some researchers argue
that the problem is a fundamental to the evolution of “higher” species,
i.e. the species with sexual selection. There’s the ones that choose
mating partners (females in humans), and the ones that have to do their
best to get chosen. Thus superficial traits evolve in the latter that
initially correlate very highly with “good genetic material” (i.e. genes
that increase the offspring’s likelihood of surviving). Once those traits
(often cited is body symmetry) have been established, though, it’s
often cheaper for an organism to just exhibit the visible traits because
those are the ones that increase one’s reproductive success. The
actually beneficial traits that they represented at some time now
become a relative burden.

Miller (the guy I cited above) strongly emphasizes the parallels between
the role of marketing and sales for a company’s success with the
display of traits in organisms that reproduce sexually. The lemon market
is probably more than just an analogy.

u/edbutler3 · 4 pointsr/cogsci

Yeah, the title is: "The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature".

Amazon link:

u/AnonPsychopath · 4 pointsr/AskReddit

It's been argued that people only make music in order to signal sexually, kind of like how peacocks have long tails.

So in a sense it makes more sense for men to make music, because so much of the male attractiveness function is already made up of appearance.

In other words, you might want to either become so good at music that your music is genuinely some of the best stuff out there, or else find a field where it's harder to duplicate the efforts of society's best and put them on every hard drive.

Anyway, I'm a guy and you definitely have my support, sympathy, etc. In general, men are luckier because if they want to make themselves more attractive their are effective means available. I really wish there was an equally effective thing women could do...

u/baconOclock · 3 pointsr/TheRedPill

The recommendations from other Red Pillers are pretty good so far, let me add some things that are a little bit different.

Sperm Wars

The Mating Mind

Dangerous Passion or just about anything from David M. Buss.

u/pk_atheist · 3 pointsr/seduction

This article has a sources listed at the bottom, a great read:

This would be a great book to check out:

This one is off-topic a little, but also a great read if you're into it:

Edit: I will admit that there are chicks that I am not attracted to that do not exhibit these behaviors that I know of. I am of the understanding that they did not develop certain traits and selectiveness due to their own low-value in the sexual market (i.e. not attractive to most guys). But this isn't a subreddit about mens/womens rights, this is a subreddit about attracting members of the opposite sex that you're attracted to.

When you read these generalizations assume the tag (in the context of mating) is next to each statement. This goes without saying on every article posted here, especially the ones in the side-bar. I'm not going to argue with you about feminism here, only that I'm good at getting girls to sleep with me, and here's how I do it.

u/yashkaf · 3 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Hey, I'm the author :)

I really appreciate your comment, it's both insightful and charitable. But, I will only admit to half the accusation. Everything I write about dating is 100% true as far as I can see it, but it's not 100% of the truth.

For example, I don't talk a lot about demonstrating high status to women even though it's a critical part of relationship success and somewhat unfashionable to talk about openly. When I express skepticism about things like pick-up and "game" I'm not lying, I actually think that while those approaches work on some women and for some form of relationships, they're counterproductive for people like me.

On the other hand, I did stand up for a while and performed at comedy festivals. And I always brought women I was dating to those, because making a room full of people laugh is a powerful demonstration of my intellect and status.

The reason I don't write about it isn't that I'm afraid of "mass society" so much as that those subjects are actually much harder to write about, and I'm less confident in what I think I've figured out about them. I think that the simpler advice that I'm giving is more immediately useful to a lot of people, even if it's incomplete.

One day I'll read The Mating Mind and write the post you're looking for :)

u/hauteburrito · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I'm not sure why you think only dudes = qualified to answer this question. I'm not one so you might end up ignoring my input, but I figure I'd put this out there anyway: there is a somewhat controversial school of thought in evolutionary psychology (a somewhat controversial discipline in itself) that purports that because men have an abundance of sperm while women have only a few eggs, men seek to expand their progeny as widely as possible and go for quantity over qualify while women go about things the other way around.

Not sure whether I actually believe it, but it's definitely one theory.

(Source: this book, which I read years and years ago, but which still might be relevant to your interests...)

u/MetaMemeticMagician · 1 pointr/TheNewRight


The Way of Men – Jack Donovan***
Sperm Wars – Robin Baker
Sex at Dawn – Christopher Ryan
Why Men Rule – Steven Goldberg
The Manipulated Man – Esther Vilar
Is There Anything Good About Men? – Roy Baumeister
Demonic Males – Dale Peterson
The Essential Difference – Simon Baron-Cohen
The Mating Mind – Geoffrey Miller
The Red Queen – Matt Ridley



Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers – Tom Wolfe
Public Choice: An Introduction – Iain McLean
On Government Employment – Foseti (blog post)
Yes, Minister – TV Show



u/fecal_brunch · 1 pointr/videos

> Why wouldn't they? Impregnation is the goal.

The outcome is not a decision. Not every human copulation results in impregnation.

> Animals fuck to get impregnated.

You're giving animals too much credit to suggest that they have sex to create offspring. They have sex because they feel compelled to have sex. There is no evolutionary reason why any animal would need to comprehend the outcome of mating.

We understand the outcomes, but it doesn't change our inspiration.

> They would absolutely come back for seconds when they realized they found a strong, virile, alpha-male.

Human like to have sex with people we find attractive, but will probably will be less inclined to do so again if we find it unsatisfying. The way we view things now is a result of our evolution. We didn't just suddenly become intelligent and detached from the evolutionary forces that shaped us.

If you're interested in this topic I'd highly recommend The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller. I'm reading it at the moment. I just finished the chapter on why humans have sex for longer than other animals, and the link between sexual pleasure and sexual selection. It compares a lot of theories and creates a pretty convincing picture of how it all fits together.

u/lucilletwo · 1 pointr/Freethought

For those interested in this topic, I'd also recommend The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller - a book about the impact of sexual selection on the development of the mind and our attraction to aesthetics, humor, music, etc.

u/callmegoat · 1 pointr/AskReddit

According to the book "The Mating Mind" in hunter-gatherer societies, big game accounted for about 3% of diet.

u/RandomIncel · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

Are all dating apps really that bad? I know there are a lot of scam web sites out that, but I know a few men who have successfully used dating apps. I know the odds are stacked against men on them, but they seem like they could work if you look okay and have a decent job. I am planning on trying some once I loss more weight and fix my appearance a bit.

You thoughts on PUA are largely the same as mine.

I am hesitant to suggest this, but I do like parts of the The Red Pill. They can be very misogynist and often have what I think is an exaggerated view of how things really are. I do like some of the self improvement aspect of the red pill.

Not sure how useful this would be, but I have been reading the Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller. It is not a dating or PUA book, but I feel like it has helped me understad why women act the way they do.

u/darwinsbulldawg · 1 pointr/evolution

Mate selection like what you describe is not uniquely human. I would recommend the book The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller.

u/jonesba · 0 pointsr/science

Geoffrey Miller and other evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized that our intellect has come more from sexual selection than natural selection. A simplified version of their idea is that some of our more abstract abilities, such as the ability to produce music and other forms of art, evolved for the purpose of impressing other possible mates. He wrote a book called "The Mating Mind" that covers this subject in a lot of detail.

His Wikipedia page ) has this explanation:
"Miller believes that our minds evolved not as survival machines, but as courtship machines, and proposes that the human mind's most impressive abilities are courtship tools that evolved to attract and entertain sexual partners. By switching from a survival-centred to a courtship-centred view of evolution, he attempts to show how we can understand the mysteries of mind. The main competing theories of human mental evolution are (1) selection for generalist foraging ability (i.e., hunting and gathering), as embodied in the work of researchers such as Hillard Kaplan and Kim Hill at the University of New Mexico, and (2) selection for social intelligence, as argued by Andrew Whiten, Robin Dunbar, and Simon Baron-Cohen."

u/katiat · -1 pointsr/science

A well reasoned view from an evolutionary psychologist G. Miller in his book The Mating Mind is that our intelligence is nothing more than a sexual showoff like a peacock tail. It has no survival value and therefore didn't have to evolve. At the same time, many birds show off their tails of different designs. and other sexual games are played in many versions so it's reasonable to expect intelligence to evolve more than once too.