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 Human Nature   [SJR: 1.459]   [H-I: 50]   [20 followers]  Follow         Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)    ISSN (Print) 1936-4776 - ISSN (Online) 1045-6767    Published by Springer-Verlag  [2351 journals]
• Grandmothers and Children’s Schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Authors: Sandor Schrijner; Jeroen Smits
Abstract: Under poor circumstances, co-residence of a grandmother is generally considered to be beneficial for (grand)children. Empirical evidence does not unequivocally support this expectation and suggests that the grandmother’s importance depends on the family’s circumstances. We study the relationship between grandmother’s co-residence and children’s schooling in sub-Saharan Africa under a broad range of circumstances. Results make clear that the effect of a co-residing grandmother varies but is almost always positive. Grandmothers over age 60 are most effective in helping their (grand)children. They are particularly important for girls, and when the mother is deceased or not living in the household. Grandmothers are less effective in situations with few opportunities, as in very poor regions or in communities with few schooling opportunities. Our findings indicate that providing support to grandmothers should not be overlooked when designing policies aimed at strengthening the position of women and children in the sub-Saharan African context.
PubDate: 2017-12-09
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9306-y

• Possible Balancing Selection in Human Female Homosexuality
• Authors: Andrea Camperio Ciani; Umberto Battaglia; Linda Cesare; Giorgia Camperio Ciani; Claudio Capiluppi
Abstract: A growing number of researchers suggest that female homosexuality is at least in part influenced by genetic factors. Unlike for male homosexuality, few familial studies have attempted to explore maintenance of this apparently fitness-detrimental trait in the population. Using multiple recruitment methods, we explored fecundity and sexual orientation within the pedigrees of 1,458 adult female respondents. We compared 487 homosexual and 163 bisexual with 808 heterosexual females and 30,203 of their relatives. Our data suggest that the direct fitness of homosexual females is four times lower than the direct fitness of heterosexual females of corresponding ages. The prevalence of nonheterosexuality within the homosexual female respondents’ families (2.83%) appear to be more than four times higher than the basal prevalence in the Italian population (0.63%). Pedigree size and relative fecundity in both the paternal and maternal sides of the homosexual women’s families were significantly higher than in the heterosexuals’ families. If confirmed, the relative average fecundity increase within the family seems to offset the loss in fitness due to the low direct fitness of homosexual females. Therefore, the balanced fecundity in the homosexual females’ families may allow the trait to be maintained at a low-frequency equilibrium in the population.
PubDate: 2017-12-04
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9309-8

• Correction to: Altruistic Behavior among Twins
• Authors: Encarnación Tornero; Juan F. Sánchez-Romera; José J. Morosoli; Alexandra Vázquez; Ángel Gómez; Juan R. Ordoñana
Abstract: The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The presentation of the article title and subtitle was incorrect.
PubDate: 2017-11-22
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9308-9

• Inbreeding in Southeastern Spain
• Authors: R. Calderón; C. L. Hernández; G. García-Varela; D. Masciarelli; P. Cuesta
Abstract: In this paper, the structure of a southeastern Spanish population was studied for the first time with respect to its inbreeding patterns and its relationship with demographic and geographic factors. Data on consanguineous marriages (up to second cousins) from 1900 to 1969 were taken from ecclesiastic dispensations. Our results confirm that the patterns and trends of inbreeding in the study area are consistent with those previously observed in most non-Cantabrian Spanish populations. The rate of consanguineous marriages was apparently stable between 1900 and 1935 and then sharply decreased since 1940, which coincides with industrialization in Spain. A marked departure from Hardy-Weinberg expectations (0.25) in the ratio of first cousin (M22) to second cousin (M33) marriages in the study population (0.88) was observed. The high levels of endogamy (>80%) and its significant steadiness throughout the twentieth century is noteworthy. Accordingly, our results show that exogamous marriages were not only poorly represented but also that this reduced mobility (<6 km) suggests that the choice of a mate was preferentially local. We found higher mobility in M22 with respect to M33 cousin mating. The relationships between population size and consanguinity rates and inbreeding fit power-law distributions. A significant positive correlation was observed between inbreeding and elevation. Many Spanish populations have experienced a prolonged and considerable isolation across generations, which has led to high proportions of historical and local endogamy that is associated, in general, with high $$\overline{F}$$ values. Thus, assessing genomic inbreeding using runs of homozygosity (ROH) in current Spanish populations could be an additional pertinent strategy for obtaining a more refined perspective regarding the population history inferred from the extent and frequency of ROH regions.
PubDate: 2017-11-20
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9305-z

• Measuring the Unmeasurable
• Authors: Stefan L. K. Gruijters; Bram P. I. Fleuren
Abstract: Within evolutionary biology, life-history theory is used to explain cross-species differences in allocation strategies regarding reproduction, maturation, and survival. Behavioral scientists have recently begun to conceptualize such strategies as a within-species individual characteristic that is predictive of behavior. Although life history theory provides an important framework for behavioral scientists, the psychometric approach to life-history strategy measurement—as operationalized by K-factors—involves conceptual entanglements. We argue that current psychometric approaches attempting to identify K-factors are based on an unwarranted conflation of functional descriptions and proximate mechanisms—a conceptual mix-up that may generate unviable hypotheses and invites misinterpretation of empirical findings. The assumptions underlying generic psychometric methodology do not allow measurement of functionally defined variables; rather these methods are confined to Mayr’s proximate causal realm. We therefore conclude that K-factor scales lack validity, and that life history strategy cannot be identified with psychometrics as usual. To align theory with methodology, suggestions for alternative methods and new avenues are proposed.
PubDate: 2017-11-15
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9307-x

• Altruistic Behavior among Twins Willingness to Fight and Self-Sacrifice
for their Closest Relatives
• Authors: Encarnación Tornero; Juan F. Sánchez-Romera; José J. Morosoli; Alexandra Vázquez; Ángel Gómez; Juan R. Ordoñana
Abstract: According to kin selection theory, indirect reproductive advantages may induce individuals to care for others with whom they share genes by common descent, and the amount of care, including self-sacrifice, will increase with the proportion of genes shared. Twins represent a natural situation in which this hypothesis can be tested. Twin pairs experience the same early environment because they were born and raised at the same time and in the same family but their genetic relatedness differs depending on zygosity. We compared the degree of willingness to fight and sacrifice for the co-twin among monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) pairs in a sample of 1443 same-sex and opposite-sex twins. We also analyzed the effect of the subject’s gender and that of the co-twin on those altruistic behaviors. Results partly supported the postulated explanation. MZ twins (who share nearly their entire genome) were significantly more likely than DZ twins (who on average share half of their segregating genes) to self-sacrifice for their co-twins, but zygosity did not affect willingness to fight for him/her. The genders of the subject and of the co-twin, not genetic relatedness, were the best predictors of aggressive altruistic intentions.
PubDate: 2017-10-28
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9304-0

• Salmon Bias or Red Herring'
• Authors: Paul Puschmann; Robyn Donrovich; Koen Matthijs
Abstract: The purpose of this research is to empirically test the salmon bias hypothesis, which states that the “healthy migrant” effect—referring to a situation in which migrants enjoy lower mortality risks than natives—is caused by selective return-migration of the weak, sick, and elderly. Using a unique longitudinal micro-level database—the Historical Sample of the Netherlands—we tracked the life courses of internal migrants after they had left the city of Rotterdam, which allowed us to compare mortality risks of stayers, returnees, and movers using survival analysis for the study group as a whole, and also for men and women separately. Although migrants who stayed in the receiving society had significantly higher mortality risks than natives, no significant difference was found for migrants who returned to their municipality of birth (returnees). By contrast, migrants who left for another destination (movers) had much lower mortality risks than natives. Natives who left Rotterdam also had significantly lower mortality risks than natives who stayed in Rotterdam. Female migrants, in particular, who stayed in the receiving urban society paid a long-term health price. In the case of Rotterdam, the salmon bias hypothesis can be rejected because the lower mortality effect among migrants was not caused by selective return-migration. The healthy migrant effect is real and due to a positive selection effect: Healthier people are more likely to migrate.
PubDate: 2017-10-17
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9303-1

• How Do Hunter-Gatherer Children Learn Subsistence Skills'
• Authors: Sheina Lew-Levy; Rachel Reckin; Noa Lavi; Jurgi Cristóbal-Azkarate; Kate Ellis-Davies
Abstract: Hunting and gathering is, evolutionarily, the defining subsistence strategy of our species. Studying how children learn foraging skills can, therefore, provide us with key data to test theories about the evolution of human life history, cognition, and social behavior. Modern foragers, with their vast cultural and environmental diversity, have mostly been studied individually. However, cross-cultural studies allow us to extrapolate forager-wide trends in how, when, and from whom hunter-gatherer children learn their subsistence skills. We perform a meta-ethnography, which allows us to systematically extract, summarize, and compare both quantitative and qualitative literature. We found 58 publications focusing on learning subsistence skills. Learning begins early in infancy, when parents take children on foraging expeditions and give them toy versions of tools. In early and middle childhood, children transition into the multi-age playgroup, where they learn skills through play, observation, and participation. By the end of middle childhood, most children are proficient food collectors. However, it is not until adolescence that adults (not necessarily parents) begin directly teaching children complex skills such as hunting and complex tool manufacture. Adolescents seek to learn innovations from adults, but they themselves do not innovate. These findings support predictive models that find social learning should occur before individual learning. Furthermore, these results show that teaching does indeed exist in hunter-gatherer societies. And, finally, though children are competent foragers by late childhood, learning to extract more complex resources, such as hunting large game, takes a lifetime.
PubDate: 2017-10-09
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9302-2

• Stability and Change in In-Group Mate Preferences among Young People in
Ethiopia Are Predicted by Food Security and Gender Attitudes, but Not by
Expected Pathogen Exposures
• Authors: Craig Hadley; Daniel Hruschka
Abstract: There is broad anthropological interest in understanding how people define “insiders” and “outsiders” and how this shapes their attitudes and behaviors toward others. As such, a suite of hypotheses has been proposed to account for the varying degrees of in-group preference between individuals and societies. We test three hypotheses related to material insecurity, pathogen stress, and views of gender equality among cross-sectional (n = 1896) and longitudinal (n = 1002) samples of young people in Ethiopia (aged 13–17 years at baseline) to explore stability and change in their preferences for coethnic spouses. We show that food insecurity is associated with a greater likelihood of intolerant mate preferences. We also find that young people who hold more gender equitable attitudes tended to hold more tolerant mate preferences. Finally, we find no support for the hypothesis that expected pathogen exposure is associated with intolerant mate preferences. Our results most strongly support a material insecurity hypothesis of in-group bias, which assumes that uncertainty over meeting basic needs leads people to favor those in their in-group. As such, our findings join a small but growing group of studies that highlight the importance of material insecurity for understanding tolerance, xenophobia, in-group bias, and favoritism.
PubDate: 2017-09-04
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9301-3

• Self-Interest and the Design of Rules
• Authors: Manvir Singh; Richard Wrangham; Luke Glowacki
Abstract: Rules regulating social behavior raise challenging questions about cultural evolution in part because they frequently confer group-level benefits. Current multilevel selection theories contend that between-group processes interact with within-group processes to produce norms and institutions, but within-group processes have remained underspecified, leading to a recent emphasis on cultural group selection as the primary driver of cultural design. Here we present the self-interested enforcement (SIE) hypothesis, which proposes that the design of rules importantly reflects the relative enforcement capacities of competing parties. We show that, in addition to explaining patterns in cultural change and stability, SIE can account for the emergence of much group-functional culture. We outline how this process can stifle or accelerate cultural group selection, depending on various social conditions. Self-interested enforcement has important bearings on the emergence, stability, and change of rules.
PubDate: 2017-08-24
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9298-7

• Interethnic Interaction, Strategic Bargaining Power, and the Dynamics of
Cultural Norms
• Authors: John Andrew Bunce; Richard McElreath
Abstract: Ethnic groups are universal and unique to human societies. Such groups sometimes have norms of behavior that are adaptively linked to their social and ecological circumstances, and ethnic boundaries may function to protect that variation from erosion by interethnic interaction. However, such interaction is often frequent and voluntary, suggesting that individuals may be able to strategically reduce its costs, allowing adaptive cultural variation to persist in spite of interaction with out-groups with different norms. We examine five mechanisms influencing the dynamics of ethnically distinct cultural norms, each focused on strategic individual-level choices in interethnic interaction: bargaining, interaction-frequency-biased norm adoption, assortment on norms, success-biased interethnic social learning, and childhood socialization. We use Bayesian item response models to analyze patterns of norm variation and interethnic interaction in an ethnically structured Amazonian population. We show that, among indigenous Matsigenka, interethnic education with colonial Mestizos is more strongly associated with Mestizo-typical norms than even extensive interethnic experience in commerce and wage labor is. Using ethnographic observations, we show that all five of the proposed mechanisms of norm adoption may contribute to this effect. However, of these mechanisms, we argue that changes in relative bargaining power are particularly important for ethnic minorities wishing to preserve distinctive norms while engaging in interethnic interaction in domains such as education. If this mechanism proves applicable in a range of other ethnographic contexts, it would constitute one cogent explanation for when and why ethnically structured cultural variation can either persist or erode given frequent, and often mutually beneficial, interethnic interaction.
PubDate: 2017-08-18
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9297-8

• What Shall We Talk about in Farsi'
• Authors: Mahdi Dahmardeh; R. I. M. Dunbar
Abstract: Previous empirical studies have suggested that language is primarily used to exchange social information, but our evidence on this derives mainly from English speakers. We present data from a study of natural conversations among Farsi (Persian) speakers in Iran and show that not only are conversation groups the same size as those observed in Europe and North America, but people also talk predominantly about social topics. We argue that these results reinforce the suggestion that language most likely evolved for the transmission of information about the social world. We also explore sex differences in conversational behavior: while the pattern is broadly similar between the sexes, men may be more sensitive than women are to discussing some topics in the presence of many other people.
PubDate: 2017-08-15
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9300-4

• The Null Relation between Father Absence and Earlier Menarche
• Authors: Kitae Sohn
Abstract: Researchers have claimed that the absence of a biological father accelerates the daughter’s menarche. This claim was assessed by employing a large and nationally representative sample of Indonesian women. We analyzed 11,138 ever-married women aged 15+ in the Indonesian Family Life Survey 2015. We regressed age at menarche on the interaction of father absence (vs. presence) and mother absence (vs. presence) at age 12 with or without childhood covariates. For robustness checks, we performed a power analysis, re-ran the same specification for various subgroups, and varied the independent variable of interest. All results produced a null relation between father absence and age at menarche. The power analysis suggests that a false negative was unlikely. Our review of the literature indicates that the claim of the relation between father absence and earlier menarche was based on weak statistical foundations. Other studies with higher-quality datasets tended to find no relation, and our results replicated this tendency. Therefore, the influence of father absence does not appear to be universal.
PubDate: 2017-08-10
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9299-6

• In Memoriam
• Authors: Catharine Cross
PubDate: 2017-07-10
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9296-9

• A Multispecies Approach to Co-Sleeping
• Authors: Bradley P. Smith; Peta C. Hazelton; Kirrilly R. Thompson; Joshua L. Trigg; Hayley C. Etherton; Sarah L. Blunden
Abstract: Human sleeping arrangements have evolved over time and differ across cultures. The majority of adults share their bed at one time or another with a partner or child, and many also sleep with pets. In fact, around half of dog and cat owners report sharing a bed or bedroom with their pet(s). However, interspecies co-sleeping has been trivialized in the literature relative to interpersonal or human-human co-sleeping, receiving little attention from an interdisciplinary psychological perspective. In this paper, we provide a historical outline of the “civilizing process” that has led to current sociocultural conceptions of sleep as an individual, private function crucial for the functioning of society and the health of individuals. We identify similar historical processes at work in the formation of contemporary constructions of socially normative sleeping arrangements for humans and animals. Importantly, since previous examinations of co-sleeping practices have anthropocentrically framed this topic, the result is an incomplete understanding of co-sleeping practices. By using dogs as an exemplar of human-animal co-sleeping, and comparing human-canine sleeping with adult-child co-sleeping, we determine that both forms of co-sleeping share common factors for establishment and maintenance, and often result in similar benefits and drawbacks. We propose that human-animal and adult-child co-sleeping should be approached as legitimate and socially relevant forms of co-sleeping, and we recommend that co-sleeping be approached broadly as a social practice involving relations with humans and other animals. Because our proposition is speculative and derived from canine-centric data, we recommend ongoing theoretical refinement grounded in empirical research addressing co-sleeping between humans and multiple animal species.
PubDate: 2017-06-22
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9290-2

• Distinguishing Family from Friends
• Authors: Rick O’Gorman; Ruth Roberts
Abstract: Kinship and friendship are key human relationships. Increasingly, data suggest that people are not less altruistic toward friends than close kin. Some accounts suggest that psychologically we do not distinguish between them; countering this is evidence that kinship provides a unique explanatory factor. Using the Implicit Association Test, we examined how people implicitly think about close friends versus close kin in three contexts. In Experiment 1, we examined generic attitudinal dispositions toward friends and family. In Experiment 2, attitude similarity as a marker of family and friends was examined, and in Experiments 3 and 4, strength of in-group membership for family and friends was examined. Findings show that differences exist in implicit cognitive associations toward family and friends. There is some evidence that people hold more positive general dispositions toward friends, associate attitude similarity more with friends, consider family as more representative of the in-group than friends, but see friends as more in-group than distant kin.
PubDate: 2017-05-25
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9292-0

• Review of Walter Scheidel’s The Great Leveler: Violence and the History
of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century
• Authors: Laura Betzig
PubDate: 2017-05-19
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9293-z

• Familiarity with Own Population’s Appearance Influences Facial
Preferences
• Authors: Carlota Batres; Mallini Kannan; David I Perrett
Abstract: Previous studies have found that individuals from rural areas in Malaysia and in El Salvador prefer heavier women than individuals from urban areas. Several explanations have been proposed to explain these differences in weight preferences but no study has explored familiarity as a possible explanation. We therefore sought to investigate participants’ face preferences while also examining the facial characteristics of the actual participants. Our results showed that participants from rural areas preferred heavier-looking female faces than participants from urban areas. We also found that the female faces from the rural areas were rated as looking heavier than the female faces from the urban areas. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that familiarity may be contributing to the differences found in face preferences between rural and urban areas given that people from rural and urban areas are exposed to different faces.
PubDate: 2017-05-18
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9289-8

• The Role of Ontogeny in the Evolution of Human Cooperation
• Authors: Michael Tomasello; Ivan Gonzalez-Cabrera
Abstract: To explain the evolutionary emergence of uniquely human skills and motivations for cooperation, Tomasello et al. (2012, in Current Anthropology 53(6):673–92) proposed the interdependence hypothesis. The key adaptive context in this account was the obligate collaborative foraging of early human adults. Hawkes (2014, in Human Nature 25(1):28–48), following Hrdy (Mothers and Others, Harvard University Press, 2009), provided an alternative account for the emergence of uniquely human cooperative skills in which the key was early human infants’ attempts to solicit care and attention from adults in a cooperative breeding context. Here we attempt to reconcile these two accounts. Our composite account accepts Hrdy’s and Hawkes’s contention that the extremely early emergence of human infants’ cooperative skills suggests an important role for cooperative breeding as adaptive context, perhaps in early Homo. But our account also insists that human cooperation goes well beyond these nascent skills to include such things as the communicative and cultural conventions, norms, and institutions created by later Homo and early modern humans to deal with adult problems of social coordination. As part of this account we hypothesize how each of the main stages of human ontogeny (infancy, childhood, adolescence) was transformed during evolution both by infants’ cooperative skills “migrating up” in age and by adults’ cooperative skills “migrating down” in age.
PubDate: 2017-05-18
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9291-1

• Nothing but Mammals? Review of Tim Clutton-Brock’s Mammal
Societies
PubDate: 2017-05-11
DOI: 10.1007/s12110-017-9288-9

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