#20 – 6 Sexual Conflicts between Men and Women w/David Buss

Men and women have different sexual desires. And this leads to sexual conflicts. Conflicts, which can create problems in relationships when dating or living together. But why? Evolutionary psychology uses the theory of sexual selection to explain these conflicts.

My guest today, David Buss, will lay out six sexual conflicts that typically occur between men and women due to our evolutionary traits; why men sometimes mistake a smile for a sexual signal, why women tend to file for more divorces or why men statistically cheat more than women.

David Buss often appears among the top 50 most influential psychologists ever to live due to his research on the evolutionary psychology of human mating strategies, conflicts between sexes and the evolution of jealousy, to name a few. Listen along to hear how we can use this knowledge to engage in a healthier conversation between partners.

David will talk about

  • The theory of sexual selection: Why men and women approach sexual relationships differently
  • The six sexual conflicts: what we lie about, why men have a deeper desire for more sexual partners and why we sometimes do bad things to the people we love
  • How Tinder reflects modern sexual selection

Are you too busy? Here are the key points

Talking about sexual selection and the differences between sexes can be a difficult subject today. Nevertheless, it is important to verbalize these differences to get a better understanding of the underlying drivers in human psychology. These are my key takeaways from my conversation with David.

#1 A lot of our fundamental psychology – our fundamental emotions – can be explained on the basis of sexual selection. Darwin’s theory of natural selection is pretty well known, but his other theory about sexual selection is probably more important. It explains why there are differences between men and women and why we have emotions such as jealousy and desire. This is important to know because we have evolved over millions of years, and this is one of those things which is hard to change.

#2 Sex differences lead to sexual conflicts. David has identified six sexual conflicts between men and women. They range from sexual variety, sexual over-perception bias, what we lie about, infidelity and so on. And because of these conflicts, men do bad things to women, and women do bad things to men. But the really bad things are statistically almost always done by men: sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, rape. We need to change that.

#3 We can use this knowledge to make our relationship better. David said that the single most important decision we can make is the selection of our long-term mating partner. And if you are in a relationship, understand that we have, so to speak, built-in sexual conflicts due to evolutionary pressures. Men desire more sexual partners than women do. We need to understand these differences in order to change them.

Curious for more? Here are the links I promised

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