Sexual imprinting in human mate choice: Review

1. Research: Questions or Problem

The question was not distinctly stated. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the sexual imprinting on the opposite-sex parent during childhood (Bereczkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, 2004, p. 1129).

2. Introduction

One of the main things noted in the introduction was that human sex partners have many similar traits with each other (Mascie-Taylor 1988, 1995; Weisfeld et al. 1992; Jaffe & Chacon-puignau 1995; Keller et al. 1996; Bereczkei et al. 1997; Thiessen 1999, as cited in Bereczkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1129). The authors argued that if organisms have the opportunity to see the similarity in strangers genetic, they might show altruism towards them (Bereczkei, Gyuris, &Weisfeld, p.1129). Approximately seventeen references were cited.

3. Method

242 psychology-undergraduate students were used for this study; with 128 being female and the rest male (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1130). The study was done at the participants’ home and the participants and research assistant were unaware about the purpose of the study (Bercezkei, Gyuris, &Weisfeld, p. 1130). The participant were presented with pictures of wives who were adopted as a child, and were asked to rate the similarity between each of them and four possible husbands, with one of them being the actual spouse (Bercezkei, Gyuris, &Weisfeld, p. 1130). During the final study, the participant completed EMBU, which examines adult’s perception of their parent’s rearing behavior during childhood (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1131).

4. Results

The result was divided into four categories, which consist of matching of husband-wife, of husband-father, of husband-mother, and exposure to adoptive father (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1131). Two figures presented the final results; one figure showed the percentage of the similarity in different matching and the second figure was a plotted graph that showed the result for exposure to adoptive father (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p.1131).

For the husband-wife matching, the judges accurately matched the husbands to wives at significantly higher mean rate than 25%, which passes the rate at which a control was picked as most similar (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1131). For the husband-father matching, more similarity was perceived between the husband and their wives’ adoptive father with average in 37.7%, which was the highest rated similarity on the graph in the first figure (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1131). The result of the final study yielded that fathers who were constant matches to the son-in-law had demonstrated more emotional warmth towards their adopted daughters (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1132). Overall, the final results further supported the

purpose of this study.

5. Discussion/Conclusions

The results of this study were further discussed. The authors agreed that their findings proposed that sexual imprinting-like mechanism plays a role in human mate choice (Bercezkei, Gyuris, & Weisfeld, p. 1132). Also, the authors stated that fondness for ensuring positive assortative mating seem to be developed during the process of bonding to the opposite-sex parent, and the long-term mate will be selected mainly on the basis of resemblance to that parent (Berceikei, Gyruis, & Weisfeld p. 1132. The authors finalized that their findings further supported the notion of long-lasting effects of attachment during childhood on future mating fondness (Bercezkei, Gyuris, Weisfeld, p. 1132). No noted recommendation for further research.

6. Reference

The references were cited within the body of text, respectively. References were from different sources. While some of the references were outdated, majority of them were fairly recent.

7. Personal Reaction

The method used to examine this study was relevant in finalizing the result. One noted generated question in the study was whether a particular contextual family variable, like trustworthiness of family members would alter future life- history trait, such on set of maturation. A flaw noted in this research was that only the pictures of wives that were adopted as child pictures was used; this is a flaw because it does not show true representation because only one gender was studied. For instance, the result would have been more statically significant and represented accurately had the researcher used the same participants to study pictures of wives and husband.