Mating game becomes harder to win

Sh. Joginder Singh ji
(Former Director – C.B.I.)

Moral issues not need necessarily be illegal. With the growth of commerce and industry and employment in other sectors, confined to generally big cities, more and young individuals of both sexes are moving thereto in search of work. Living on a shoe string budget, occasionally and often intentionally, the young men and women, opt for staying together, but for financial, as well as personal reasons. It happens with the people working in the same organisation or organisations. They do not always inform their families and so the live in relationship starts.

Film industry has set these trends. Stars pick up their spouses, drop them for others and when they had their fill they go on for still other. Very few marriages stay stable, in the glamour industry, though there are a few outstanding exceptions of some super stars.

Both in Western World and India, live in relationship means couples opting for ‘cohabitation’ over ‘marriage’. In this arrangement, there is no commitment and couples walk out of as easily, as walked into it. Live in relationship means that couple are there together as long as their relationship meets their needs. In this relationship, it is as easy to change their partners, as their dress. Nobody frowns upon live in relationships in Western countries, as this fact has come to be accepted by the society there. Over in those countries, every body has to find his own spouse. There is none or minimal parental assistance available in this enterprise, as men and women have to fend for themselves. In a new twist to this activity, using a mathematical model or the mating game, researchers at University College London, University of Warwick and London School of Economics and Political Science have laid bare that an extended courtship enables a male to signal his suitability to a female and enables the female to screen out the male if he is unsuitable as a mate. The researchers used game the­ory to analyse how males and females behave strate­gically towaras each other.

“Courtship in a number of animal species occurs over an extended period of time. Human courtship, for example, can involve a sequence of dinners, theatre trips and other outings last­ing months or even years. One partner — often the male — may pay the greater part of the financial cost, but to both sexes there is a significant cost of time which could be spent on other productive activities,” explained Prof. Robert Seymour of University College London, who creat­ed the mathematical model.

“Why don’t people and other animals speed things up to reduce these costs’? The answer seems to be that longer courtship is a way for the female to acquire information about the male,” he added.
Suitable men were more willing to pay the cost of a long courtship in order to claim the prize of mating. However, less suitable men were not as likely to contin­ue dating, according to the study published in the Journal of Theoretical Bio­logy. ‘”By delaying mating, the female is able to reduce the chance that she will mate with a bad male. A male’s willingness to court for a long time is a signal that he is likely to be a good male,” In other words, he advises women to play hard to get.
However, what the research report, and I can hardly call it based on scientific data has stated, is only a collection of generalisation. It is not necessary that a man may invest on dinners, lunches and time on court ships only for the purpose of marriage. It could be only for a one night affair or a fling as it suited his fancy to do so.