Dr. David M. Buss
University of Texas, Austin

Human Mating Strategies

Humans have evolved multiple mating strategies, including long-term committed mating, casual sex, infidelity, mate poaching, and sexual exploitation. I present empirical evidence bearing on evolution-based hypotheses about the complexities of human mating strategies. Since men and women historically confronted different adaptive challenges in the mating domain, the sexes differ profoundly in evolved strategic solutions. Domains of gender differences include mate preferences, motivations for short-term mating, forms of sexual deception, sexual conflict within couples, and conflict in the aftermath of a breakup. Cultural norms that prescribe and proscribe, social environments such as mate pool sex ratio, and personal contexts such as mate value activate different mating strategies. Discussion draws implications for conflict between the sexes and for mating in the modern world of the internet.