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Maladaptive variants - Maladaptive variants But not all...

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Maladaptive variants: But not all cultural variants are adaptive: debilitating drug abuse, religious celibacy, voluntary martyrdom for political causes, etc. are examples of persistent features of many cultures that seem likely to be maladaptive for the individuals who adopt them Darwinian theory of cultural evolution predicts maladaptive cultural traits are more likely to occur or persist when: 1) cultural transmission is non-parental (hence not contingently linked to biological reproduction), and/or 2) there is some conflict or trade-off between maximizing one's reproductive success and maximizing one's cultural influence One possible set of examples is certain religiously-specified dietary taboos: many of these exist, and some (e.g., the "sacred cow" beliefs of Hindus, the Jewish and Muslim taboo on eating pork) have been the subject of major debates in ecological anthropology A not-so-famous food taboo is traditional rules among Inuit (Canadian Eskimos)
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