Mating rituals may refer to the set of display characteristics whereby an animal tries to attract another of the same species but ordinarily different sex and manifest their desire to form a relationship, long term or short term, usually based on population. The behavior can range from vocalizations, sounds, display of beauty or movements in a desirable manner. Human beings being part of the Kingdom Animalia displays these actions too. The study of how human beings’ has been a subject of debate for long. Among them have been anthropologists and animal behaviorists who depended mainly on empirical observations to conclude on animal behaviors. This paper aims to find out, through observation the various mating rituals-observations gathered from social gatherings such as coffee shops.
Typically, human beings aim at forming long term relationships for purposes of marriage, casual relationships, or even for friendships and this results from the natural desire of human beings to have constant companionship with the people around them for various reasons. And as many theorists agree, the drive for companionship is contributed significantly by the sex drive. The human mating process is made up of the whole process from meeting a potential mate to assess their fitness and suitability for that which they want them, such as whether the businessman one gets can be fit as a business partner or whether the woman a man meets is fit for marriage to the ultimate decision to form an interpersonal relationship with that person. This whole process goes through some stages and primarily based on the mating rituals.
Flirting is usually the very first step. Typically, this happens to create a bond between potential mates or to express sexual interest. How this happens depends on the social and cultural beliefs of the potential mates. Flirting can either be for fun or intent. In the case flirting with purpose, an individual displays signals of being available for sex and anticipates to see the same interest manifesting in the other mate before proceeding to the next step. This flirting may take various forms among them non-verbal cues, hand-touching or expressly saying it out to the other party. This was flirting a significant role in the process of selecting a mate for both short term and long term sexual relationships and even for marriage.
The other step or aspect of mating ritual is dating. It usually occurs when the question of selecting a spouse arises, or when one seeks to establish a long term intimate relationship with another, which may not necessarily lead to marriage. In many social setups, it refers to the stage of the romantic relationships whereby the potential mates meet to assess each other suitability. The rules that govern how dating is carried out depend primarily on the social norms and practices of a given society. Typically, however, it involves several activities carried out by the mates on their own or with others such that the mates can explore the possibilities of them being able to settle down with each other.
Several factors influence the success of mating ritual. For instance, it is almost conclusively accepted that men seem to achieve a higher reproductive success than females. This is because unlike women who have a higher parental investment than men, they (men) can manage to mate with multiple women, unlike the women who subsequently will not lead to mate with as many men. This, therefore, suggests that men are more likely to have higher success in mating with multiple women almost simultaneously, going through the whole process from flirting, dating and to the very results of the mating rituals.
It is almost generally agreed that men will tend to place a more excellent value on a female’s youth and attractiveness, unlike women who will put more value on the males’ ability to provide for the women. This is because child implies better reproductive value in females, who tend to reach an end of being able to reproduce as age progresses, unlike the males that can breed to the ancient period. Theoretically speaking, men that selected and mated with fertile, healthy young women are likely to have more descendants remaining compared to the men that do not do so (Clark, 2015)
At times for reasons best known to them, individuals could prefer some mating tactics whereby they will apply those mating techniques that are likely to suit the prevailing conditions (Conley et al., 2017). For instance, as explained earlier on, men have more opportunities for women as a result of little investment in bringing children up. However, surprisingly women too seek to have several casual, short-term intimate relationships. The reasons for this can only be speculated. It is believed that women from earlier times of civilization entered into such relationships with men that could be able to transmit genetic benefits to the women’s children such as good physical appearance, disease resistance or general good health Schmitt, 2016).
The mating rituals among the human beings are a complex subject that has been under discussion for ages. Though understood from the empirical point of view, observation to renders facts about the whole mating rituals processes-that is the stages right from flirting, dating and match-making. Several factors determine the success or failure of the routines key among them all being the gender of the initiator of the process, that is being either the male or female, which are in turn affected by the social norms and beliefs of a given society.
Conley, T. D., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., Ziegler, A., & Valentine, B. A. (2011). Women, Men, and the Bedroom: Methodological and Conceptual Insights That Narrow, Reframe and Eliminate Gender Differences in Sexuality. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(5), 296-300