Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Observed Mating Behavior and Women’s Long-Term Mating

  • Natalie V. Motta-MenaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3657-1



Women’s mating behavior includes human female sexual development, mate preferences, and strategies to optimize reproduction and long-term mating. Each of these components of mating behavior has been shaped by selection to produce adaptive outcomes.


A life history approach to evaluating human behavior can be fruitful for understanding the fundamentally unique nature of women’s mating behavior (Luoto et al. 2018; Motta-Mena and Puts 2017). For example, early in development, puberty in humans marks a formative time during which changes in the visuoperceptual system can influence the ability to detect facial cues related to mating behavior and sexual relationships (e.g., sexual interest; Garcia and Scherf 2015; Motta-Mena and Scherf 2017), a crucial developmental transition that, thus far, appears to be exclusive to humans. As young women undergo puberty and begin menstruation, they begin to exhibit...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tara DeLecce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA