Parental influence and sexual selection

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


    This chapter addresses how the genetic relatedness between parents and their children results in the two parties having converging as well as diverging interests. In the domain of mating, these interests, along with other factors such as the trade- offs inherent in mating, give rise to an opportunity cost of free mate choice: Parents have much to lose if they allow their children to exercise choice freely. This opportunity cost provides a strong incentive to parents to influence their children's mate choices. In preindustrial societies, parents manage to exercise direct control, which is predominantly manifested in the institution of arranged marriage. In postindustrial societies, parents exercise influence indirectly through manipulation. Ultimately, parental influence over mating gives rise to a sexual selection force, namely parental choice, which may be unique to the human species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology and Parenting
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Print)9780190674687
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021


    • Arranged marriage
    • Manipulation
    • Mating
    • Parental choice
    • Parental influence
    • Sexual selection


    Dive into the research topics of 'Parental influence and sexual selection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this