lesson20 - 20 Mommy's Baby Daddy's Maybe Key Terms and...

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20 Mommy’s Baby, Daddy’s Maybe Key Terms and Concepts o Parental investment o Biparental care o Confidence of parentage o Cuckoldry o Mate guarding o Mate desertion o Phenotypic similarity o Spontaneous abortion o Stranger-male effect o Adaptive infanticide o Iteroparity o Residual reproductive potential o Shaken baby syndrome o Expected benefits hypothesis o Previous expenditures hypothesis o Concorde fallacy o Lactational amenorrhea Parental behavior includes anything that promotes the survival or well-being of offspring. Enormous variation exists in the preparation and care that parents contribute to their offspring. Some species merely get eggs and sperm together and then leave the embryos to fend for themselves. At the other extreme are those species that carry, feed, teach, clean, discipline, and protect their offspring for many years. In this lesson we will examine sex differences in parental behavior, the proximate causes of parental care, and finally, the reduction or termination of parental care. Lesson 20 231
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The Development of Parental Behavior Like all other forms of behavior, parenting does not just emerge from “out of the blue.” In some species, parenting is less dependent on individual experience than it is in other species. Some forms of experience may take place prenatally, others in the early postnatal period, while other experiences occur much later. Some developmental effects are very general while others are much more specific to offspring and their care. We will review some of these topics in this section. Prenatal Effects We will see later in this lesson that most species have significant sex differences in the amount and kind of investment they make in offspring care. Take birds for example. In most species both the male and the female share in incubating the eggs and in bringing food to the nestlings. In some species, however, only the female or only the male does the incubation, or one parent may do the bulk of the food provisioning or protection against predators. Mammals are more constrained in that milk can only be supplied by females, but there are still large differences among species in how much care is provided by males. When sex differences exist in the amount or form of parental care, the differences are largely attributable to early hormone exposure, much as we saw with the development of sex differences in sexual behavior (Lesson 15). In other words, the organizational effects of hormones extend not just to differences in the ways that males and females copulate, but also to differences in the way they play, think, aggress, and care for their offspring. Genetic Effects Do individuals grow up to be the same sort of parent as their own parents? If so, are the similarities due to the fact that they share genes, or perhaps there is some sort of experiential process? There certainly are some genetic influences on individual differences in some forms of
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lesson20 - 20 Mommy's Baby Daddy's Maybe Key Terms and...

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