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Bateman's principles and human sex roles

By Gillian R. Brown, Kevin N. Laland and Monique Borgerhoff Mulder

Abstract

In 1948, Angus J. Bateman reported a stronger relationship between mating and reproductive success in male fruit flies compared with females, and concluded that selection should universally favour ‘an undiscriminating eagerness in the males and a discriminating passivity in the females’ to obtain mates. The conventional view of promiscuous, undiscriminating males and coy, choosy females has also been applied to our own species. Here, we challenge the view that evolutionary theory prescribes stereotyped sex roles in human beings, firstly by reviewing Bateman's principles and recent sexual selection theory and, secondly, by examining data on mating behaviour and reproductive success in current and historic human populations. We argue that human mating strategies are unlikely to conform to a single universal pattern

Topics: Opinion
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3096780
Provided by: PubMed Central
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