xii Introduction THEORIES A variety of theories can be used to explain women’s sexuality. The three most popular are reviewed here. The first, evolutionary theory, describes sex differences according to biological factors. Next, social structural theory explains sex differences according to macrosocietal characteristics, most notably the power differences that exist between men and women. The third perspective is attachment theory, which focuses less on the differences between men and women and more on how people develop styles of relating to others that are derived from their families of origin. The explanations of attachment theory consider how both biologi- cal and social factors influence behavior. Evolutionary Theory The predominant biological explanation for sex differences in sexual behavior is evolutionary theory. This orientation has mostly focused on heterosexual rather than same-sex partnerships. It contains many subtheo- ries and concepts, which are too lengthy to outline here however, some of the core concepts that relate to sexuality are described. Central to this orientation is the concept of natural selection, which refers to the idea that people who adapt well to their environments are more likely to survive and produce offspring to carry on those adaptive features (Confer et al. 2010). Adaptive traits are behaviors or characteristics that give a reproduc- tive or survival advantage to people who possess them. One example of an adaptive trait is that around the world, women are perceived as more phys- ically attractive if their waist is 30% smaller than their hips (Singh and Singh 2011). This waist-to-hip ratio is associated with health and fertility and signals to prospective partners that women may be successful at bear- ing children. According to sexual selection theory, a subtheory of the evolutionary perspective, men and women have different reproductive goals, which causes them to seek different qualities in their mates (Buss 1989). Men have a goal of assuring a child is their own, a concept known as paternity certainty. As such, they tend to value women who are sexually restrained and feel especially jealous at the threat of sexual infidelity. Women have greater parental investment than men, because the time commitment for reproduction is lengthier (at least nine months compared to a few minutes), which causes them to seek partners who can provide long-term resources
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