Is Homosexuality more Prevalent in Agropastoral than in Hunting and Gathering Societies? Evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample

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    Abstract

    A small but important portion of the population is attracted to individuals of the same sex. This phenomenon raises the question, why selection forces have allowed such dispositions to exist in the population. The weak selection pressures hypothesis, argues that same-sex attraction has been the result of weak selection pressures during the period of human evolution. Such pressures were predominantly the consequence of arranged marriage in which individuals, irrespectively of their attractions, are mated to opposite-sex partners. Arranged marriage is more common in societies which base their subsistence on agriculture and animal husbandry than in societies which base their subsistence on hunting and gathering. Accordingly, it is predicted that homosexuality would be more prevalent in the former than in the latter societies. Using anthropological evidence from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample, the present study finds support for this hypothesis. The evolutionary implications of this evidence are further discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-100
    Number of pages10
    JournalAdaptive Human Behavior and Physiology
    Volume3
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

    Keywords

    • Homosexuality
    • Mutation-selection balance equilibrium
    • Parental choice
    • Same-sex attraction
    • Weak selection hypothesis

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