Evolutionary Theory Of Sexual Coercion

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Evolutionary Theory
Evolutionary theories of sexual coercion considers the possibility that current psychological attributes are formed over evolutionary time, because they provided solutions to environmental problems faced by our ancestors (Thornhill & Palmer, 2001). Sexual coercion tactics are believed to be one such set of evolved mechanisms (Turchik et al., 2016). The central claim of this theory is that sexually coercive behaviour is due to sexual motivation rather than males’ need for power over women. Evolutionary theory provides three possible alternative explanations for sexually coercive behaviour. These are Life History theory (LH), Competitively Disadvantaged Male theory (CDM) and Sexual Coercion as a By-Product theory (SCB) (Gladden
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Thus, LH proposes, that due to limited time and energy, individuals divided their energy in terms of costs and benefits. Example trade-offs include resources for continued survival versus resources devoted to producing offspring, parental effort versus mating effort and quality versus quantity of offspring (Glenn et al., 2011). LH posits that behaviour is predicated on whether an individual has a high LH strategy or a low LH strategy. For instance, individuals with slow LH strategies have a tendency to have secure attachments, supportive family and friends and a “psychological disposition for long-term planning and long-term mating “(Glenn et al., 2011, p.373). ). In contrast, individuals with faster LH strategies are associated with personality traits such as a preference for casual sex as opposed to emotional bonding, with having many sexual partners and general aggressiveness (Figueredo et al., 2006). According to LH theory, there is evidence to suggest that sexually coercive behaviour may be related to other forms of anti-social behaviours in individual men, including a predisposition towards a lack of conventional morality and respect for authority (Glenn et al.,…show more content…
This hypothesis proposes that sexual assaults may have evolved from selection pressure as a consequence of a female’s ability to choose (Thornhill & Palmer, 2001). For example, males tend to have a stronger sex drive than females and a tendency to be much more indiscriminate in mate preferences and willingness to engage in casual sex compared to females (Felson & Cundiff, 2014). In contrast, women place more time and investment selecting a mate with whom they can together be responsible for their children. These strong differences in the tendencies of male and female sexuality can generate a conflict of interest with regard to contemporary sexual behaviour.

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