Lecture_06_marriage-1 - Lectures 6 COOPERATION(in the Home...

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Lectures 6 COOPERATION (in the Home): MATING AND MARRIAGE PATTERNS: -- Partially Economic -- Partially Reproduction BOTH are ultimately related to FITNESS . Natural Selection or conscious, rational choices by humans should act to increase the frequency of behaviors (or the genes that underlie those behaviors) that allow an optimum adaptation to the environment at hand. I. Marriage: the first “human universal.” In human societies, marriage is universal. Marriage consists of cohabitation (in public and socially approved) between a man and woman with both partners providing goods and services to the other on a continual basis and with sexual relations between the couple usually with the intent to reproduce. Thus, the purpose of marriage is universally recognized to be the production of offspring through sexual relations and the economic cooperation typical between spouses (and often their families) in order to successfully rear those offspring. Although all mammals must copulate to produce offspring, in very few does the male continue to reside with a female after copulation, and become involved in offspring support. Such a pattern is generally only found in living organisms when: 1) male support is critical to offspring survival /well-being; 2) confidence in paternity is high. Paternity confidence refers to the probability that a male can be certain he is the genetic father of an offspring. If males have low confidence in their paternity they are unlikely to invest in an offspring (who may have been produced by another male). Because of male investment in offspring, human mating and parenting strategies, are more like birds than like other mammals. Long-term pair bonds = marriage 8% of mammal species are monogamous, while 90% of bird species are monogamous. Why? Baby birds, like baby humans, are born helpless, and require a lot of parental care before they are able to fend for themselves.
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Among the majority of flying birds, the female cannot feed herself and her brood by herself– the provisioning of the male is critical to their survival. A similar pattern seems to have developed at some point in human evolution. Few primates show long-term pair bonding between males and females. Baboon females have favored male partners (termed 'friends' by Smuts 1985) who spend more time with them, interact more with their infants, defend females and their infants, and are more likely to father their offspring than are males who are not their friends. These tendencies are statistical -- both males and females copulate with other individuals who are not their friends, also spending time with the others, caring for their infants etc. This might be considered extremely weak 'marriage' . In 93% of all events in which an adult male baboon defended an infant, the infant
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Lecture_06_marriage-1 - Lectures 6 COOPERATION(in the Home...

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