Have you ever asked yourself why you may find a certain person more attractive than another? Though you can blame that regretful beer-goggle hook up from last weekend on the booze, on what can you blame the weakness you feel in your knees or your automatic smile when you see your co-worker?
Evolutionary theory helps us to explain, scientifically and logically, the phenomena of attraction. I will stress that the theory of evolution is only one line of thought in the great pool of scientific ideas and theories, but it does provide humans with a greater perspective, which can also be very interesting.
According to evolutionary theory, the bottom line of our biology, and purpose for existing, is our domineering need to spread our genetic material, which drives our behavioral choices regarding mate selection, among other things.
So the next time you get mad at your boyfriend for checking out the amazing rack on a woman passing by, just realize that maybe, to a certain extent, he can’t help to whom he is attracted. He probably doesn’t even understand why he finds larger breasts appealing in the first place.
Evolutionary theory logically explains why we find certain “secondary sexual traits” appealing. Breasts have no direct role in reproduction, but they do indicate other desirable traits, such as good health and ability to bear children, as do wider hips on a woman.
Evolution accounts for certain human behaviors like the male tendency to display his dominance by strutting his stuff in a crowd. So think twice before you roll your eyes at the guys with cut-off sleeves pumping iron at the gym. Dominance displays are very common in the animal kingdom as well.
Even jealousy has its roots in evolutionary adaptive behavior. Jealousy may very well be the result of an evolutionary strategy called mate guarding. In the animal kingdom, an example of mate guarding might be a male damselfly distracting a female damselfly with which he has just copulated to ensure that no other male damselflies sneak in and mate with her. Such a move would make the first male damselfly’s attempt at spreading his genetic material fruitless.
Jealousy alerts humans to the potential threat of losing our mate to an interested nemesis. It helps us remember that sometimes we can’t help but feel jealous, and from a biological standpoint, it’s natural. Keeping that in mind might help us to keep our emotional reaction to jealousy in check as well.
It is fascinating how practically everything we do regarding behavior can somehow be explained by a biological agenda Next time you can’t help but stare at someone across the room or feel an impulse to pounce on someone talking to your significant, think about how these impulses might make sense through the scope of evolutionary theory.