Hot Science talk focuses on the science of mating

Cinnamon Cornell

At Friday’s installment of the “Hot Science, Cool Talks” series, “Explor[ing] Human Mating Strategies,” psychology professor David Buss discussed the motivations behind the mating desires of the differing sexes.


The discussion, which was hosted by the Environmental Science Institute, explored the promiscuous intentions of humans, in addition to topics such as sexual selection, mating strategies, universal desires, and gender differences.

Buss said desire is the foundation of mating for both males and females. He explained that, contrary to societally-held perceptions, women are capable of promiscuous behavior, and men are capable of emotional tendencies, and vice versa.  


Buss emphasized that college students are especially susceptible to these beliefs, but said ultimately, students’ sexual behaviors in college are not radically different from the population as a whole.


“UT students are people too; [these] students [may be] above average in things like intelligence, motivation, [and] ambition to acquire higher degrees, but their mating mechanisms are the same as everybody else,” Buss said. 


Psychology freshman Shelby Guel, who attended the talk, said she understood the logic behind Buss’ conclusions.


“[What Buss] discussed was true; men and women both have the same promiscuity level,” Guel said. “For every man that has sex with a different woman for the first time, the woman is having sex with a different man for the first time.”


Events such as this talk are available to the public and broadcasted live by the Environmental Science Institute. The institute holds Hot Science talks six times a year. According to Eric James, the Environmental Science Institute program coordinator, the events present cutting-edge information one step ahead of textbooks. 


James said the talks are often so popular that their auditoriums are filled past capacity.


“Fire marshals [have said] to get those people out of the aisles,” James said.  


The Environmental Science Institute institute has been holding events since 1999 and is currently on its 86th presentation. The next event, on Oct. 18, will be called “The Roving Search for Life on Mars.”