Context and Culture on Male Mating Behavior

In species where the investment rate of males in individual females is low, males should be selectively oriented to maximize activity mating, assuming a high frequency of mating will increase the number of males and females. There is increasing evidence that male mating behavior differs systematically between individuals, even with more excellent mating opportunities, thus reflecting behavioral profiles rather than plastic responses to environmental and social factors. Male sexual activity may not directly predict their mating success as females reject the most sexually active (most harassing) males depending on social context.

Context on Male Mating Behavior

Behavioral variation during courtship has become an essential topic in studying sexual selection. Courtship behavior can vary consistently between males (individual variation) due to the inherent characteristics of individuals, but males can also adapt their courting dynamically. (intra-individual variation) in response to potential mate characteristics or environmental context.

Traditionally, studies have mainly focused on lavish masculine structures or colors, either through production and maintenance costs or through their association with the state of the individual, which serves as an honest signal allowing the quality of the partner to be assessed (e.g., immunity, parental effort).

However, in recent years, the study of behavior in the context of sex selection has gained popularity, and it is now widely accepted that behaviors, as individual characteristics consistent, can be reliable indicators of quality and, therefore, behavioral change in men may influence mate choice decisions and reproductive success. Although behaviors often vary consistently between individuals, they change dynamically within individuals over time or in response to environmental context. Males may change their courting behavior, expressing themselves more aggressively in response to stiff competition between the sexes.

Digital Context of Male Mating Behavior

Male and female sexual strategies differ according to sex-differentiated reproductive activities. Digital applications have greatly influenced daily life in most human societies. Furthermore, there are good reasons to assume that this also applies to the sex life histories of many citizens in modern society. Online sexual activity can be different from offline sexual behavior. Dating platforms offer different services catering to an increasingly diverse range of sexual relationships.

People engage in long-distance sexual activities such as cybersex via webcams, chatting with sex robots, or interacting with sex robots. In modern gender-equal societies, stereotypical personality traits and stereotyped occupations are more common than traditional gender-unequal societies.

Due to the scarcity of females, males are preferred over females for their ability to compete effectively for mates. As a result, the likelihood of successful reproductive transformation in males is higher than in females, mammals, and ants. Therefore, sex selection is more active in men than in women. Since sex-selection pressures function differently between sexes, the resulting adaptation - anatomically and behaviorally - is sexual dimorphism.

The traits that help the male increase mates will be selected for preference. Males can successfully increase their fertility by mating with multiple females and with highly fertile females, namely young and attractive females.

Men's Preferences and Mating Behavior based on Culture

Many characteristics are considered attractive by culture. That is, they learn. The human man also has a mind and is taught much about how he should see the world. This includes female characteristics that he should consider attractive (i.e., sexual desire), including physical and non-physical attributes. These non-physical attributes include a woman's spirit, achievements, and outlook. This does not mean that the male human is a walking hormone.

He, like the woman, is a member of the human race and, therefore, is also aware of human society, its limitations, and needs. Men want outstanding women who meet their physical and instinctive criteria for the right partner. However, the person he chooses to pursue, to whom he will devote his resources to trying to meet his criteria, must meet social and cultural criteria that go above and beyond.

Men have minimal criteria for sexual desire; they are interested in a woman's anatomy - as long as a woman looks young and healthy enough, she is desirable. They also consider her beautiful because, for a man, beautiful and desirable are practically synonymous. What is considered healthy has changed over centuries and from culture to culture. In times of food scarcity, a woman considered obese today is considered attractive because her appearance shows that she has large reserves.

Other changes, such as cosmetics to create a healthy appearance, clothing that accentuates the hips and thus gives the impression of an excellent reproductive structure, etc., increase men's perception of female libido as a friend. Of course, very few men consciously associate certain traits with health, which is why they find them attractive. They only find women with such traits sexually attractive, and that is enough without analyzing why.

Sociocultural Context and Male Mating Behavior

Risky sexual behaviors in young men are based on dominant concepts and practices prevalent in cultural contexts. Therefore, it is essential to understand the intersection between cultural norms and risky sexual behaviors in young men. Socializing agents such as family, peers, and community is essential in determining acceptable and unacceptable sexual behavior in young men.

Some young men seem to adhere to prescriptive gender norms about what it means to be a man, while others reject them for alternative versions of a man. In the university setting, these findings suggest that male students cannot make informed decisions about condom use while intoxicated, thus placing themselves at risk for STIs.

Sexual behavior and cultural norms are interrelated. Through culture, people learn to behave and understand the world around them. In many cultural contexts, young men from an early age learn to behave according to popular notions of what it means to be a man in that particular context. Some young men adopt such normalized sexual behaviors that often harm their future.

Context Effects from Viewing Attractive Models

Marketers capitalize on the universal appeal of beautiful young ladies. Madison Avenue is frequently accused of promoting a single arbitrary ideal of beauty to which everyone else must live. This charge is, at most, half correct. As we have seen, beauty criteria are not arbitrary but represent good fertility and reproductive value indicators.

Marketers who capitalize on established mate preferences are nearly sure to outperform those who do not. Marketers place a young lady with fair skin and regular features on the bonnet of the current automobile because the picture exploits men's developed psychological systems and hence sells cars.

On the other hand, the visuals we are bombarded with regularly have the potential to be harmful. In one study, males were asked to rate their commitment to their present love partners after viewing images of either very attractive or averagely attractive women. Afterward, men who had seen photos of attractive women considered their actual spouses less appealing than those who had seen pictures of averagely attractive women.

More importantly, men who had previously observed attractive women assessed themselves as less devoted to, happy with, serious about, and close to their natural relationships. Another research in which males watched physically beautiful naked centerfolds yielded similar results: They reported being less attracted to their relationships.

The causes for these alterations might be found in the unrealistic quality of the images and men's psychological systems. A cast of thousands picks a few gorgeous ladies for advertisements. Thousands of photographs are then taken of each chosen woman in many situations. Playboy, for example, is said to shoot about 6,000 photographs for each monthly publication. Only a few of the thousands of images are chosen for publishing.

So males see the most beautiful ladies in the most beautiful poses in the most beautiful photoshopped photographs. Compare these images to what men might have seen 100,000 years ago if they lived in a band of a few dozen people. It is unlikely that males would have seen even a dozen women regarded attractive by today's standards in that atmosphere. On the other hand, a relative availability of attractive women may legitimately lead a man to contemplate switching partners, and therefore he would reduce his commitment to his current mate.


Since males have the lowest parental required investment, they should pursue short-term mating strategies more often than females. On average, males can produce more offspring, but relatively few can produce many offspring. Culturally transmitted mating preferences may drive sexual selection in humans and primitive animals if they influence selection intensity for inherited physical and behavioral traits.

Updated on: 11-Apr-2023


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