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Topics in this subthread are discussed in detail in Sarah Hrdy's book Mother Nature, A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection. Subject matter references to historical (read: written) polemical proscriptions and comparative evolutionary theories of mating selection (read: discrimination, voluntary and involuntary), from early 18th cen to early 21st cen, are mostly eurocentric, judeo-christian. However the author persuasively demonstrates (i) mating (any species) has never been mostly monogamous and (ii) selection parameters (discrimination, strategy) on both sexes are mostly exogenous, eg. location, infanticide, "hypergamy" --in other words, calculated probability of survival, self and progeny. Not so romantic.

The wikipedia article is facile. The claim "Today most people marry their approximate social equals, and in much of the world hypergamy is in slow decline: for example, it is becoming less common for women to marry older men" is preposterous, given contemporary, eurocentric pretext for "marriage" still reduce to exchange of property -- accumulated "wealth" assigned to each "partner"-- whether or not they procreate!

As for pre-historic information contributing to evolutionary theories of selection, polemicists are decidedly "anti-science." Even my daughter's noticed this. Genomic data exploration is full of ... interesting suppositions derived from "genetic flow" calculations said to describe mating selection criteria, to concentrate OR diversify risk of survival.

The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains.

We conclude that the parents of this Neandertal individual were either half-siblings who had a mother in common, double first cousins, an uncle and a niece, an aunt and a nephew, a grandfather and a granddaughter, or a grandmother and a grandson
as was the custom. Good luck with that and the cannibalism thing.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 9th, 2018 at 08:09:29 PM EST
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