By Linda A. Jackson
Booklet via Jackson, Linda A.
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Additional resources for Physical Appearance and Gender: Sociobiological and Sociocultural Perspectives
It is therefore not surprising that society values a woman's beauty and that the evaluation of a woman depends so much on her physical attractiveness. (BarTal & Saxe 1976a, 131) 3 The social-roles explanation suggests that, as traditional gender roles decline in the American culture, so, too, should gender differences in the importance of physical attractiveness. It also suggestsalbeit less directlythat nontraditional gender-role socialization should decrease gender differences in the importance of attractiveness as compared to traditional socialization experiences.
Next page > < previous page page_25 next page > Page 25 competitor presumably required physical abilitiessuch as strength and speedand intellectual abilities, to the extent that intelligence was necessary to outsmart the competitor. Thus, sexual selection should have favored males who were both physically competent and intellectually competentthat is, "strong and intelligent" males. Buss and Barnes (1986) addressed the issue of why sexual selection favors females who prefer high material-resource males, but not the issue of what heritable characteristics are responsible for the acquisition of material resources.
The presumed conflict between the sociobiological and sociocultural perspectives is discussed, with arguments presented favoring a compatibility view of the two perspectives. < previous page page_20 If you like this book, buy it! next page > < previous page page_21 next page > Page 21 The Sociobiological Perspective From the time of Darwin (1859, 1871) to the present (Buss 1985, 1989, 1990; Daly & Wilson 1978, 1988; Symons 1979, 1987, 1989), sociobiologists have argued that sexual selection is responsible for the greater importance of facial appearance for females than males.