David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282

Last updated: Jun 2, 2023

The video is a conversation with evolutionary psychologist David Buss about human sex differences in mate selection, including topics such as sex, dating, relationships, and love, as well as the importance of sex and violence in human civilization.

The video is a conversation between Lex Fridman and David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at UT Austin who researches human sex differences in mate selection. They discuss topics such as sex, dating, relationships, and love, and Buss explains the differences in what men and women want in a long-term mate. They also touch on the importance of sex and violence in human civilization, and how humans have evolved in the context of small groups and intertribal warfare. Overall, the conversation explores the complexities of human mating psychology and the evolutionary factors that have shaped it.

  • Women have specific criteria for selecting a mate, including kindness, intelligence, and shared values.
  • David Buss is an evolutionary psychologist who studies human sex differences in mate selection.
  • Sex and violence have played important roles in human civilization.
  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness and youth in women, while women prioritize resources and status in men.
  • Humans have evolved long-term pure bonded mating, and male parental care is present in humans.
  • Mating includes mate selection, attraction, retention, poaching, and expulsions.
  • Love is a broader experience of joy and beauty in life.
  • Understanding our evolutionary history can help us understand human behavior today.
  • Sex and violence are intertwined in human history and culture.

David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 - YouTube

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Women's Mate Selection Criteria

  • Women want a mate who is kind, understanding, intelligent, healthy, has a good sense of humor, and shares their values.
  • Women have a more complex and diverse mating psychology than men.
  • There are many explanations for why women have more criteria for mate selection.
  • David Buss is an evolutionary psychologist who researches human sex differences in mate selection.
  • Buss is considered one of the founders of evolutionary psychology and has authored many books on the topic.
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Introduction and Disclaimer

  • The conversation is with David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist at UT Austin.
  • The conversation covers topics such as sex, dating, relationships, and love.
  • The conversation also covers the importance of sex and violence in human civilization.
  • The host, Lex Friedman, injects humor and ridiculousness throughout the conversation.
  • The host takes controversial topics seriously but also tries to make the conversation fun.
  • The host encourages open-minded curiosity as the best guide for a proper and fun lifelong education.
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Importance of Sex and Violence in Human Civilization

  • Both sex and violence are important in the history of human civilization.
  • Humans are a sexually reproducing species, so everything has to go through sex.
  • Humans have a rich and complex evolved mating psychology.
  • Violence is also important because humans evolved in the context of small groups and with a fair amount of small group warfare.
  • Intertribal warfare has been advantageous from a purely reproductive standpoint to conquer a neighboring group, kill the males, and get whatever resources they have, including females and sexual resources.
  • Typically, males participate in warfare, but some females have participated as well.
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David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 - YouTube

Examples of Violence in Human Civilization

  • There has never been a single case in all of human recorded history of women forming a war tribe with other women to attack another group of women and kill them and capture the men as husbands.
  • Small group warfare is part of our common history.
  • Napoleon Chagnon is an example of someone who studied small group warfare.
  • Chagnon passed away, but his work is still relevant today.
  • Humans have a dark evolutionary history that includes violence and warfare.
  • Understanding our evolutionary history can help us understand human behavior today.
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Violence and Conflict in Human Societies

  • Yanamamo people go to war to capture women.
  • Reputation management is a primary source of violence between groups.
  • Within-group conflict is also common in traditional societies.
  • Ritualized conflict, such as wrestling matches or chest-pounding duels, can establish status hierarchies.
  • The Yanamamo have a status hierarchy based on whether or not a man has killed someone.
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The Magic Ingredient of Homo Sapiens

  • It is hard to isolate one factor that gave birth to Homo sapiens.
  • Richard Wrangham believes fire and cooking have been key factors.
  • The uniqueness of our mating system may also contribute to our uniqueness as a species.
  • Our ability to collaborate, share ideas, and contemplate our own mortality may also be important factors.
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Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men and women have different criteria for selecting mates.
  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness and youth in women.
  • Women prioritize resources and status in men.
  • These differences are rooted in evolutionary history.
  • Men seek to maximize their reproductive success by mating with multiple partners.
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The Importance of Sex in Human Evolution

  • Sexual selection has played a key role in human evolution.
  • Men and women have different reproductive strategies.
  • Men seek to mate with multiple partners to maximize their reproductive success.
  • Women seek to secure resources and protection for their offspring.
  • These differences have led to differences in behavior and psychology between men and women.
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Evolution of Human Mating

  • Humans have evolved long-term pure bonded mating, unlike chimpanzees who have no long-term pure bonded mating.
  • Male parental care is present in humans, but not in chimpanzees.
  • Humans are a heavy male parental investment species compared to the vast majority of mammals.
  • Mating includes mate selection, mate preferences, mate attraction, mate retention, mate poaching, and mate expulsions.
  • Long-term pure bonded mating is a really important mating strategy in humans.
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Definition of Mating

  • Mating includes the series of sexual acts that lead to reproduction, dating, love, camaraderie, loyalty, and emotion of love.
  • Mating is a broad category and definition that includes mate selection, mate preferences, mate attraction, mate retention, mate poaching, and mate expulsions.
  • Love is an emotion experienced by some people in all cultures.
  • There are different phases of love, including infatuation, intense sexuality, and warm attachment.
  • Love is a broader experience of experiencing the joy and beauty of life.
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Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men and women have different mate preferences due to evolutionary reasons.
  • Men prefer physical attractiveness, youthfulness, and fertility in women.
  • Women prefer status, resources, and ambition in men.
  • Men are more likely to engage in short-term mating strategies, while women are more likely to engage in long-term mating strategies.
  • Men are more likely to engage in mate poaching, while women are more likely to engage in mate retention.
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Importance of Sex and Violence in Human Civilization

  • Sex and violence are two fundamental aspects of human civilization.
  • Sexual selection has shaped human evolution and behavior.
  • Violence has been used by humans to gain resources, power, and status.
  • Sex and violence are intertwined in human history and culture.
  • Understanding the evolutionary roots of sex and violence can help us understand human behavior and society.
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Mating Strategies

  • Humans have unique and diverse mating strategies.
  • Mating is inherently a competitive process.
  • Humans compete for mates using language and reputations.
  • Language is used to send signals to potential mates and derogate competitors.
  • Women also compete with each other using language.
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Derogation of Competitors

  • Humans use language to impugn the status, character, and reputations of their rivals.
  • The goal is to make competitors less desirable to others.
  • Both men and women engage in derogation of competitors.
  • Women are observant of subtle imperfections in their rivals and take pains to point them out.
  • Verbal input can alter perceptions of attractiveness through attentional mechanisms.
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Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness in mate selection.
  • Women prioritize status and resources in mate selection.
  • These differences are rooted in evolutionary history.
  • Men seek to maximize reproductive success through quantity of mates.
  • Women seek to maximize reproductive success through quality of mates.
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Sexual Strategies Theory

  • Sexual Strategies Theory explains sex differences in mate selection.
  • Men and women have different adaptive problems to solve in reproduction.
  • Men face the problem of paternity uncertainty.
  • Women face the problem of investing in offspring.
  • These problems lead to different mating strategies and preferences.
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Mating Strategies and Social Status

  • Who we choose as a mate is a reflection of our own status.
  • Language can alter the dynamics of the social hierarchy.
  • Values can be changed subtly or in big ways with a large platform.
  • Our psychology has evolved adaptations to detect differences.
  • Differences are important in decision making, especially in the mating domain.
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Desirable Mates and Social Construction

  • Mating strategies involve a small pool of desirable mates.
  • The word "desirable" is socially defined to keep the pool small.
  • Our psychology has evolved adaptations to detect differences.
  • Physical appearance provides information about health status, physical formidability, and fertility.
  • Standards of beauty are not arbitrary and are based on predictable cues to fertility.
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Standards of Beauty and Biological Truths

  • Physical appearance provides information about health status, physical formidability, and fertility.
  • Standards of beauty are not arbitrary and are based on predictable cues to fertility.
  • Cues to youth, health, and symmetry are important in both men and women.
  • Deviation from perfect symmetry is due to mutation load, environmental insults, and diseases during development.
  • Standards of beauty are deeply biological.
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Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men and women have different mate selection strategies.
  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness and youthfulness in women.
  • Women prioritize resources, status, and ambition in men.
  • Men are more likely to engage in short-term mating strategies.
  • Women are more likely to engage in long-term mating strategies.
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Biological Evolution of Mate Selection

  • Men have a preference for women with a small waist-to-hip ratio, which is a biological preference.
  • There are many variables in selecting a mate, and our valuation of a mate may incorporate more variables as we get into the 21st century.
  • There are some things that are biologically evolved, such as standards of attractiveness.
  • Humans have concealed ovulation, which is a feature, not a bug, and gives more power for women to select a mate.
  • Long-term pair bonding co-evolved with concealed ovulation, and humans have sex throughout the ovulatory cycle, making mating a more fundamental part of interaction between humans than it does for chimps.
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Men's Preferences in the 21st Century

  • Men's preferences in the 21st century depend on whether they are looking for long-term or short-term mating.
  • When it comes to long-term mating, it gets complicated.
  • Women want a mate who is kind, understanding, intelligent, healthy, has a good sense of humor, and shares their values.
  • Men want a mate who is physically attractive, but also values intelligence, kindness, and a good sense of humor.
  • Men also want a mate who is faithful and sexually loyal.
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Sexual Selection and Violence

  • Sexual selection is a powerful force in human evolution.
  • Violence is also a part of human evolution, and it is often linked to sexual selection.
  • Men are more likely to engage in violent behavior than women, and this is partly due to sexual selection.
  • Men who engage in violent behavior may be more successful in mating, which perpetuates the cycle of violence.
  • There are cultural and social factors that can mitigate the effects of sexual selection and violence.
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Love and Relationships

  • Love is a complex emotion that is difficult to define.
  • There are different types of love, such as romantic love, parental love, and love between friends.
  • Love is important for human relationships, and it is linked to attachment and bonding.
  • Attachment styles can vary, and they are influenced by early childhood experiences.
  • Relationships can be challenging, and they require effort and communication to maintain.
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What Women Want in a Mate

  • Women have a large number of characteristics they want in a mate.
  • These characteristics include generosity, ambition, and hard work.
  • Women want a mate who is generous towards them, but not indiscriminately generous.
  • There are interactions among different characteristics that make mate selection a complex optimization problem for women.
  • Women prioritize characteristics that are related to long-term investment in a mate.
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What Men Want in a Mate

  • Men have a smaller number of characteristics they want in a mate compared to women.
  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness and youth in a mate.
  • Other characteristics that men want in a mate include intelligence, good health, sense of humor, and an agreeable personality.
  • Men are more likely to fall in love at first sight because they prioritize physical appearance.
  • Physical appearance provides information about a woman's fertility status, which is important for reproductive success.
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What Women Want for Short-Term Mating

  • Physical appearance is important for women in short-term mating, but not as important as it is for men.
  • Other cues that represent physical attractiveness and health are also important for women in short-term mating.
  • Women prioritize physical appearance more for short-term mating than for long-term investment in a mate.
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What Men Want for Short-Term Mating

  • Physical appearance is the most important characteristic for men in short-term mating.
  • Other characteristics that men want in a short-term mate include youth, physical attractiveness, and cues that represent health.
  • Men prioritize physical appearance more for short-term mating than for long-term investment in a mate.
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Short-term Mating and Good Genes Hypothesis

  • Women go for good genes cues in the short term and cues to resources in the long term.
  • Markers of good genes are symmetrical and masculine features.
  • Short-term mating is not one-night stand mating but rather a fair mating.
  • 70% of women tend to fall in love with or become attached to their affair partner.
  • Men who have affairs fall in love with or become attached to their fair partner only 30% of the time.
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Mate-Switching Hypothesis

  • Affairs are one way in which women divest themselves of a cost-inflicting partner.
  • Affairs are a way to transition back into the mating market or to trade up in the mating market.
  • The mate-switching hypothesis is an alternative to the good genes hypothesis.
  • The evidence for the good genes hypothesis is starting to look shakier than initially thought.
  • Mate-switching hypothesis seems to make more sense from a game theory and engineering perspective.
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Value in Long-term Mating

  • There may be a big evolutionary advantage to lifelong singular relationships like monogamy.
  • Divorce and breakups are common in all cultures.
  • We may not be good at mate selection or monogamy from an evolutionary perspective.
  • Longevity is an issue as we didn't live to be 70-80 years old for over 99% of human evolutionary history.
  • Long-term pair bonding and mate-switching are both critical strategies.
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Conclusion

  • The debate between the good genes hypothesis and the mate-switching hypothesis is ongoing.
  • The evidence for the mate-switching hypothesis seems to make more sense from a game theory and engineering perspective.
  • Long-term pair bonding and mate-switching are both critical strategies for humans.
  • We may not be good at mate selection or monogamy from an evolutionary perspective.
  • There may be a big evolutionary advantage to lifelong singular relationships like monogamy, but divorce and breakups are common in all cultures.
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Adaptations for Mate Selection

  • Humans have adaptations to mate switch and trade up in the mating market under certain conditions.
  • These conditions differ for men and women.
  • Women have adaptations to divest themselves from some partners and trade up in the mating market when their partner is sufficiently debilitated or injured.
  • Women prefer men who are physically fit and well-toned but not muscle-bound.
  • Women tend to prefer men who have a high shoulder to hip ratio and are physically taller than they are.
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Importance of Appearance for Men

  • Shoulder to hip ratio is an important cue of appearance for men.
  • Women prefer men who are physically fit and well-toned but not muscle-bound.
  • Women tend to prefer men who have a high shoulder to hip ratio and are physically taller than they are.
  • Women do not find extremely muscle-bound guys attractive.
  • Women prefer men who are a bit above average in height.
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The Dad Bod

  • The dad bod is defined as being out of shape with a little bit of fat.
  • Women might interpret a guy who is obsessed with his body as a sign of narcissism, which is not a good trait.
  • Women do not want guys to be obsessed with their body.
  • In cultures where large, overweight men are valued, wealth and resources are still important to women.
  • Historically, resources were important to women and hunting skills were a big variable for high status in males.
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Stockpiling Resources and Cash Economies

  • Humans historically were not able to stockpile resources in the way that we can today.
  • Cash economies are relatively recent.
  • Resources have always been important to women, and men who are able to acquire and dispense resources are valued.
  • In modern culture, killing a large game animal and sharing it with the group can still earn a man status points.
  • There are certain ways to stockpile resources, but historically it was not possible to do so in the way that we can today.
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Resource Storage and Cash Economies

  • Hunting success is hit or miss, so resources can be stored in the bodies of others.
  • Cash economies allow for stockpiling resources and explosion of inequality.
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Penis Size and Sexual Selection

  • Controversy in evolutionary psychology community about whether penis size matters for women.
  • No scientific papers on penis size and sexual selection.
  • Individual variability and preference in women's attraction to penis size.
  • May depend on variability in woman's anatomy.
  • May be a quirk of culture or evolutionarily recent.
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Attraction to Breasts

  • Breasts are a sexually dimorphic feature and cue to fertility.
  • Women develop breasts at puberty or post-puberty.
  • Men are attracted to sexually dimorphic features, such as breasts and waist-to-hip ratio.
  • Waist-to-hip ratio also becomes sexually dimorphic at puberty.
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Sexual Dimorphism and Mate Selection

  • Humans are attracted to sexually dimorphic features in the opposite sex.
  • Sexually dimorphic features are cues to fertility and genetic quality.
  • Examples of sexually dimorphic features include breasts, waist-to-hip ratio, and facial symmetry.
  • Men and women have different mate selection criteria due to differences in reproductive biology and parental investment.
  • Evolutionary psychology can help explain sex differences in mate selection.
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Evolutionary Standards of Beauty

  • Men tend to find women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.70 more attractive.
  • Entire industries, such as fashion, are built around these standards of beauty.
  • There are sociological tensions about whether we should care about these standards or not.
  • Humans wear clothes, but the reason for the shame aspect of covering up the body is unclear.
  • Hiding may be a great game theoretic thing to play with because it can give the powerless more power.
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Arbitrary and Non-Arbitrary Features of Fashion

  • Fashion tends to accentuate features that are inherent in our evolved standards of beauty.
  • Women tend to wear things that accentuate their waist-to-hip ratio.
  • Historically, corsets were used to cinch a woman's waist.
  • Fashion tends to be linked with status, and high-status people start wearing a certain type of clothing.
  • Fashion and clothing are important linked to status.
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The Sociological Aspect of Objectification

  • There is objectification of the human body in the media, which creates standards for young women.
  • Women tend to point out imperfections in other women.
  • This is damaging, and there are sociological tensions about whether we should suppress or celebrate this aspect of our biology.
  • There are criticisms of social networks and their role in perpetuating objectification.
  • Images displayed in social media can be damaging.
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The Importance of Sex and Violence in Human Civilization

  • Sex and violence are two of the most important aspects of human civilization.
  • Sex is important for reproduction and the continuation of the species.
  • Violence is important for protecting resources and territory.
  • Humans have evolved to be sexually dimorphic, with males being larger and stronger than females.
  • There are sex differences in mate selection, with men tending to value physical attractiveness and women tending to value resources and status.
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Evolutionary Mismatch and Social Comparison

  • We evolved in the context of small group living with male competition.
  • Modern society bombards us with thousands of images that are not representative of our actual competition in the mating domain.
  • Women compare themselves to highly selected and photoshopped images, which hurts their self-esteem.
  • Men and women have roughly the same overall average levels of self-esteem, but women's self-esteem drops after puberty due to elevated importance attached to physical appearance.
  • The objectification of the male and female body is not fundamentally the problem, but the inaccurate representation of it is.
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The Harmful Thinness Dimension

  • Studies show that men value relative thinness or plumpness in women.
  • Women value thinner body types for themselves but perceive that men also value thinness.
  • There is an inaccurate perception of how thin men actually prefer women to be.
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The Importance of Words in Manipulating Society

  • We can manipulate social and status hierarchies using our words for good or ill.
  • Click-bait articles about social media and influencers can make us rethink how we build social networks that allow us to easily misrepresent how we look.
  • The objectification of the male and female body is not fundamentally the problem, but the inaccurate representation of it is.
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The Difficulty of Designing a Society that Undoes Harmful Social Comparison

  • It is challenging to design a society that undoes the harmful effects of social comparison.
  • There is a need to rethink how we build social networks that allow us to easily misrepresent how we look.
  • The objectification of the male and female body is not fundamentally the problem, but the inaccurate representation of it is.
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Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men desire women to be thin, which is exacerbated by the fashion industry.
  • Women misperceive how thin men want them to be.
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binging-purging are more common in women than men.
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The Sunscreen Song

  • The sunscreen song is a beautiful speech that gives advice.
  • The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists.
  • Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
  • Don't worry about the future or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
  • Do one thing every day that scares you.
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Life Advice

  • Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, and don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
  • Floss.
  • Don't waste your time on jealousy.
  • Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults.
  • Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
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Accepting Inalienable Truths

  • Prices will rise, politicians will philander, and you too will get old.
  • When you do get old, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.
  • Accept certain inalienable truths, such as the fact that the world is round, and that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  • Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard.
  • Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
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Human Nature and Environment

  • Advice from the "Wear Sunscreen" speech
  • The impact of environment on personal growth
  • Living in cities can change a person
  • Austin as a preferred city to live in
  • David Buss' personal experience of living on both coasts and the Midwest
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Gender and Sex Differences

  • Questioning the belief that gender is purely a social construct
  • David Buss' view on gender and sex differences
  • Psychological and biological aspects of gender and sex differences
  • Defining biology as the study of life and life processes
  • Universal psychological sex differences
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Mate Selection

  • Evolutionary psychology and mate selection
  • Sexual selection and its impact on mate preferences
  • Men's and women's mate preferences
  • Short-term and long-term mating strategies
  • Age preferences in mate selection
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Sexual Conflict and Violence

  • Sexual conflict and its role in human evolution
  • Sexual coercion and violence in mate selection
  • Male-male competition and aggression
  • Female-female competition and aggression
  • The importance of understanding sexual conflict and violence in human civilization
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Psychological Sex Differences

  • One of the largest psychological sex differences is the preference for jobs that involve people versus jobs that involve things or computer code.
  • This difference is true in every culture and has an effect size of more than a standard deviation.
  • Gender egalitarian cultures with freedom of choice actually see larger psychological sex differences and assortment into different occupational choices.
  • Sex differences are largest within the domain of mating and sexuality.
  • Men prioritize physical appearance and physical attractiveness, while women prioritize resources and qualities that lead to resource acquisition.
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Overlapping Distributions

  • Psychological sex differences are sexually dimorphic, but there is overlap in the distributions.
  • For example, some women prioritize physical attractiveness in a partner, while some men view it as irrelevant.
  • There are psychological sex differences that make some people uncomfortable, but empirical data are strong in these domains.
  • Sex differences in desire for sexual variety and short-term mating are also universally documented in all cultures.
  • Culture-specific or social-cultural overlays exist, but there is also an issue of levels of analysis and how closely you look at the phenomenon.
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Levels of Abstraction

  • At one level of abstraction, things are infinitely culturally variable, but at another level of abstraction, there is universality.
  • For example, languages are infinitely culturally variable, but humans have a universal human innate grammar.
  • In the mating domain, Margaret Mead argued for the infinite malleability of things like sexual behavior, but there are universal patterns of sexual behavior across cultures.
  • Levels of analysis and abstraction are important in understanding psychological sex differences and their universality.
  • There is a tension between cultural variability and universality in human behavior.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 077

Evolutionary Psychology

  • Evolutionary psychology is the study of how evolution has shaped the human mind and behavior.
  • Evolutionary psychology is not deterministic, but it does provide a framework for understanding human behavior.
  • Evolutionary psychology can help explain sex differences in mating and sexuality, as well as violence and aggression.
  • Evolutionary psychology can also help explain why humans have certain emotions, such as jealousy and love.
  • Evolutionary psychology is a controversial field, but it has generated a lot of research and insights into human behavior.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 078

Gender Roles and War Paint

  • Cultural variability in the application of face paint
  • Functional difference in the purpose of paint application
  • War paint is used to make oneself more ferocious or to demarcate what tribe they're in
  • Fashion magnifies the characteristics that are appealing to the opposite sex
  • Male coalitions are formed for the purpose of competing with rival coalitions
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 079

Coalitions and Status

  • Coalitions are formed to compete with rival coalitions
  • Access to resources and ability to influence others within the group are influenced by status
  • Women prioritize a man's social status because high status men have access to more resources
  • Universal status criteria include trustworthiness, intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge
  • Some status criteria are sex-differentiated and often fall into the mating domain
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 080

Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness and youth in women
  • Women prioritize social status and resources in men
  • Men are more likely to engage in short-term mating strategies
  • Women are more likely to engage in long-term mating strategies
  • Men are more likely to engage in intra-sexual competition
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 082

Importance of Sex and Violence in Human Civilization

  • Sex and violence are intertwined in human history
  • Sexual selection has shaped human psychology and behavior
  • Violence has been used to gain and maintain resources and social status
  • Warfare has been a constant throughout human history
  • Human civilization has been shaped by the interplay between sex, violence, and cooperation
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 083

The Role of Power and Wealth in Mate Selection

  • Successful mating increases your status, but having high status also gives you access to more desirable mates.
  • Wealth produces power differentials that didn't exist in most of human evolutionary history.
  • Wealth is an infinitely fungible resource that can be translated into many other things.
  • Power can be attained through other ways besides wealth.
  • Most dictators and leaders of nations are men, which can be traced to women's mate preferences.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 084

Sex Differences in Motivational Priorities

  • Women have over evolutionary time preferred men who had power, status, and resources.
  • This has created selection pressure on men to attach a high motivational priority to clawing their way up the status hierarchy.
  • Studies show that men are more willing to sacrifice their relationships to climb the status hierarchy, while women spend more effort maintaining relationships with their kin and friend networks.
  • The co-evolution of women's mate preferences with men's motivational priorities is an essential part of the causal process.
  • These mating strategies underlie all of human civilization and motivate us in many ways.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 086

The Importance of Sex in Human Civilization

  • Sex is a fundamental human drive that motivates us in many ways.
  • Sexual selection has shaped human psychology and behavior in profound ways.
  • Sexual conflict is a pervasive feature of human mating, with men and women having different reproductive interests.
  • Sexual coercion and violence have been used throughout human history to gain access to mates and resources.
  • Sexual morality and norms have evolved to regulate sexual behavior and reduce sexual conflict.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 087

The Evolutionary Psychology of Love and Relationships

  • Love is a complex emotion that has evolved to solve adaptive problems related to mate selection and reproduction.
  • There are different types of love, including romantic love, parental love, and friendship love.
  • Relationships are shaped by evolved psychological mechanisms that regulate mate choice, attraction, and attachment.
  • Jealousy is a common emotion that has evolved to protect relationships from threats of infidelity.
  • Breakups and divorce are common in modern societies, but they can have negative consequences for mental and physical health.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 088

Mating and Immortality

  • Human beings build castles, bridges, rockets, and the internet to achieve immortality.
  • Men want to build a lasting legacy because it will affect their lineage.
  • Men are more likely to want to achieve immortality through their work.
  • Ernest Becker's analysis is missing the role of mating in human behavior.
  • Mating is certainly part of the reason why humans build things.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 089

Dominance and Submissiveness in Relationships

  • Is it good to have equality or differences in a romantic relationship?
  • Equality is preferred in romantic relationships.
  • Hierarchy is important in coalitions, such as war coalitions.
  • Leaders are appointed based on their presumed wisdom and effectiveness.
  • There is functionality and utility to our evolutionary psychology of status and dominance.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 091

Formidability Assessment

  • Formidability assessment is a spontaneous assessment of whether one can take another person.
  • Males engage in formidability assessment to determine if they can take another male.
  • Formidability assessment is a sexually dimorphic aspect of our psychology.
  • One advantage of status hierarchies is that they reduce the need for constant battling.
  • Formidability assessment is currently being studied by David Buss and Patrick Durkee.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 092

Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men are more interested in physical attractiveness and youth in a mate.
  • Women are more interested in resources and status in a mate.
  • Men are more likely to engage in short-term mating strategies.
  • Women are more likely to engage in long-term mating strategies.
  • Men are more likely to be jealous of sexual infidelity, while women are more likely to be jealous of emotional infidelity.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 093

Psychology of Status Hierarchies and Dominance

  • Formidability and information are critical in determining who to challenge or submit to in violent conflict.
  • Submitting can also be functional in deferring to someone to avoid being vanquished.
  • There is a rich psychology of status hierarchies and dominance and submissiveness.
  • There is functionality to submitting in relationships as well.
  • There is a need to live to see another day.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 095

Masculinity and Femininity in Relationships

  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to masculinity and femininity in relationships.
  • Some reduce masculinity and femininity to agency and communion.
  • Agency is instrumental and goal-oriented, while communion is about forming connections with others.
  • There are good and bad aspects of agency and communion.
  • There can be toxic agency and toxic communion.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 096

Toxic Masculinity and Traffic

  • Unmitigated masculinity can be terrible, as seen in examples of toxic masculinity.
  • Traffic can bring out the worst in human nature and challenge individuals to confront deeper issues.
  • There is a feeling of protection in a vehicle, which can lead to individuals being their true selves, including angry and screaming.
  • There is a need to introspect and confront the shadow within oneself.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 097

Opinion on Ongoing Events

  • The ongoing events being referred to are not mentioned in the provided text.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 098

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Defamation Trial

  • The trial is about defamation brought by Johnny Depp against Amber Heard.
  • David Buss has not watched the trial but has read some reports of it.
  • He does not have strong opinions on it and does not feel qualified to disentangle what actually went on in their relationship.
  • Intimate partner violence is a topic that he has studied.
  • Intimate partner violence can be asymmetrical or symmetrical.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 100

Complexity of Human Relationships

  • Johnny Depp is a very human and real person with layers upon layers of wit, humor, anxiety, and darkness.
  • The trial reveals the complexity of this human, the humor under pressure, under stress, and the rawness of love.
  • Love makes people do things and keeps them in toxic relationships.
  • The push and pull of longing and fights, the roller coaster, and the makeup sex are all part of the complexity of human relationships.
  • It is addictive but not good for long-term relationships.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 101

Mate Selection and Personality Characteristics

  • Women and men do not want a partner who is emotionally unstable.
  • Emotional instability is the single personality characteristic that is most predictive of breakups and divorces.
  • People who are emotionally unstable get into a lot of conflict with their partner and create havoc.
  • They seek conflict in order to attain intimacy, but conflict creates tension.
  • Intimacy is raw and fragile.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 102

Testing the Strength of a Bond

  • People inflict costs on their partner to test the strength of the bond.
  • Testing the commitment of the person is a feature, not a bug, in romantic relationships.
  • People tend to overly romanticize and idealize their partner in the early stages of love.
  • Going on vacation with a partner to a foreign country where both are unfamiliar is a good stress test for the relationship.
  • Encountering unexpected things and stresses during a road trip can reveal how a person deals with stress and how they deal with each other under stress.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 104

Violence and Toxicity in Relationships

  • Partner violence can be emotional and physical, and women can be violent too.
  • Men also have the capacity to stay in a toxic and violent relationship and not walk away.
  • Emotional abuse can be worse than physical abuse.
  • Jealousy is a feature in relationships, but it can also go wrong.
  • Jealousy can be a sign of commitment, but it can also lead to controlling behavior and violence.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 105

Sex Differences in Mate Selection

  • Men and women have different criteria for mate selection due to evolutionary reasons.
  • Men prioritize physical attractiveness, youthfulness, and fertility in a mate.
  • Women prioritize resources, status, and ambition in a mate.
  • Men are more likely to engage in short-term mating strategies, while women are more likely to engage in long-term mating strategies.
  • Men are more likely to be jealous of sexual infidelity, while women are more likely to be jealous of emotional infidelity.
David Buss: Sex, Dating, Relationships, and Sex Differences | Lex Fridman Podcast #282 106

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