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Attraction and Mate Selection - Essay Example

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Every human being selects its mate based on number of considerations, some conscious and some subconscious. individuals go through few distinct phases; firstly physical attraction for which few seconds are required once opposite partners meet, secondly infatuation stage in which two people decide they like each other and are ready to couple themselves in a relation knowing each others personality attributes and finally the dating phase which is the most longest one and during this they share their interest, know each others goals and values…
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Download file to see previous pages Grochowski, 2006). No society encourages its members to select spouse with complete freedom. Moreover the problem with the kin marriage is that it can lead to undesirable genetic consequences in offspring which increases the chances of death before they even grow up. Exogamy is influenced by factors such as size, diversity and sex ratio of the community; it is thought that marriage is an institution that functions to preserve race, class, education and social distinction. The society in which a person lives determines its mate selection; some societies consider people who are related by birth and some consider people who live together in same households, other societies by adoption, marriage or clan. Wikes et al. further states that, in most of the societies a person marries outside one's nuclear family (exogamy) but is encouraged to marry to a member of one's own class, race or religion (endogamy). Thus exogamous group is small and endogamous group is large. In some societies both these groups can be equal too as when they are divided into clans and lineages. (2006)
Sociological factors also play their part in mate selection. Looking at the homogamy theory, which supports the idea that like is attracted to like, thus people are more likely to choose a mate who is similar to them in many dimensions. "Homogamy theory states that people select mates who are like them in physical characteristics such as height and weight and psychological characteristics including intelligence, interest, attitude, values and personality" (Daniel T. Gilbert, Susan T. Fiske, Gardner Lindzey, 1998). In most of the families it is assumed that their children will marry within same race, status, religious affiliation and ethnic group. People usually search mates within their own race; norms with respect to race are strongly adhered to. Gilbert et al further explains that religion also plays an important part in this selection, in the orthodox, Jewish communities if the son or daughter married outside they were considered dead. People are said to be in same social class if they have similar education, occupation and occupational background. So with similar life experiences they share similar views and thus associate together in similar style of living. People prefer to marry in same socio-economic groups. Age also counts in mate selection as mostly a few years age difference is expected and the husband is considered to be older then wife in most of the societies. These are few common characteristics which people choose in making their mate selection.
Psychological factors play an important part in mate selection. "The complementary needs theory states that two need are complimentary if one partners need also satisfies the need of other; for e.g. one enjoys being submissive and other dominant" (Chris Segrin, Jeanne Flora, 2005). The complimentary interaction between the two partners increases their attractiveness to each ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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