Human sexual strategies: Short-term mating and parental control over mate choice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In the human species, individuals engage in short-term mating strategies that enable them to acquire fitness benefits from casual mates. However, because parents and children are not genetically identical, these benefits are less valuable and more costly to their parents. For this reason the latter are likely to disapprove their children engaging in casual relationships. This chapter aims to review the evidence from several studies which indicates that parents and children disagree over short-term mating strategies, with the former considering them less acceptable for the latter than the latter consider them acceptable for themselves. Moreover, parents find it more unacceptable for their daughters to engage in short-term mating than for their sons, while male children consider casual mating more acceptable than female children. Also, mothers are more disapproving than fathers of their children's short-term mating strategies, while both parents and children consider short-term mating less acceptable within marriage. The implications of these findings for interfamily conflict are also explored.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman and Animal Mating
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies, Gender Differences and Environmental Influences
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781624170850
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


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