Mating-effort was defined as the psychological effort put forth to obtain and guard short-term mates. Hypotheses were derived that contrasted two views of high mating-effort. In the conditional strategy view, social failure would occur first and lead directly to individuals' adopting high mating-effort tactics. In the alternative strategy view, heritable dispositions would lead individuals to adopt high or low mating-effort tactics. The findings were that (i) social failure could not account for the co-variation of mating-effort and delinquency; (ii) perceived mate value was related to mating-effort only weakly; (iii) high mating-effort individuals were more, not less, sexually active; and (iv) mating-effort was familial. Although not definitive, on the whole these findings favored an alternative strategy over a conditional strategy interpretation of the choice of mating tactics among middle-class adolescents.
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