Individual Mate Choice in an Arranged Marriage Context: Evidence from the Standard Cross-cultural Sample

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    Abstract

    Evidence from the anthropological and historical records indicates that, in contemporary and ancestral preindustrial societies, mate choice is regulated with parents choosing spouses for their children. On the basis of this evidence, it has been argued that most of human evolution took place in a context where individuals had limited space in which to exercise choice. Nevertheless, even in this context, mate choice can still be exercised. Using evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample, the current study found that, in an arranged marriage setting, there is a considerable space for individuals to exercise mate choice in premarital relationships, in extramarital relationships, and in forced sex or rape. These patterns do not vary considerably between societies of different subsistence types. However, premarital relationships were less common and rape was more common in societies where arranged marriage was the dominant mode of long-term mating. The evolutionary implications of these findings are further discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-200
    Number of pages8
    JournalEvolutionary Psychological Science
    Volume3
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

    Keywords

    • Female choice
    • Individual mate choice
    • Mate choice
    • Parental choice
    • Rape

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