Sexual selection in ancestral human societies: The importance of the anthropological and historical records

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Abstract

Application of the sexual selection theory is required for understanding the evolution of the human mind. Still, sexual selection is not a homogenous force, and there are different sexual selection forces. It has been generally assumed that female choice had been the primary sexual selection force during the period of human evolution. More recently, however, it has been proposed that male-male competition and parental choice respectively, had been instead the primary sexual selection forces. This article argues that any theorizing on sexual selection in ancestral human societies needs to be consistent with the anthropological and historical records. Based on this reasoning, it argues further that systematic evidence from these sources is consistent with the hypothesis that male parental choice had been the primary sexual selection force during most of the period of human evolution, while female choice and male-male competition had also been important sexual selection forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-95
Number of pages10
JournalEvolutionary Behavioral Sciences
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Female choice
  • Male-male competition
  • Parental choice environment of evolutionary adaptedness
  • Sexual selection

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