Evolutionary reasons for hypergamy

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In summary, the conversation discusses the concept of hypergamy and its potential benefits in terms of securing resources and survival for offspring. It also touches on the idea that risk-taking behavior may be advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint, and how it may be selected for in the population. Overall, the discussion highlights the importance of both natural and sexual selection in shaping human behavior and society.
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Surely at some point in history, there was a direct benefit. Is there any now? Does one get better genes for their offspring by going this route?
 
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This would be impossible to determine. It seems the risk of marrying-up in a tribe would mean better food for the offspring. However, it seems it could be risky once that relationship ends because the leader found another mate or the leader was killed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergamy
 
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  • #3
jedishrfu said:
This would be impossible to determine. It seems the risk of marrying-up in a tribe would mean better food for the offspring. However, it seems it could be risky once that relationship ends because the leader found another mate or the leader was killed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergamy

Assuming the leader has a higher chance of being killed than an average member of the tribe. Also, the ability to acquire resources could be a proxy for good genes.

I see your point. If the relationship with the leader ends, the child could be at more risk than otherwise compared to a relationship ending with an average member.
 
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jedishrfu said:
it could be risky once that relationship ends because the leader found another mate or the leader was killed.
The other end of the deal is to secure loyalty for the leader. With the risk of the offspring dies after the leader it is beneficial to support the leader.

FallenApple said:
better genes
A small misunderstanding here. This part of the evolution is not about 'getting better genes': it is about securing the survival and spreading of genes. IF it is successful, then it might lead to more 'marry up' genes appearing in society and getting the title of 'better genes' (more accurately: successful genes) through numbers.
I mean, if it has anything to do with genes at all.

Guess it is safe to say that this strategy is not a complete failure since it is still exists o0)
 
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The main consideration will be the effect the number of offspring that reproduce in the next generation (fertile offspring).

Marrying up seems to mean access to more resources. This is almost always good for reproduction.

If the length of occupancy at the top of the hierarchy exceeds the time it takes for its first set of offspring to mature and go away;
seems the revenge argument would carry less power (since only the current set of offspring would be in danger).
 
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BillTre said:
The main consideration will be the effect the number of offspring that reproduce in the next generation (fertile offspring).

Marrying up seems to mean access to more resources. This is almost always good for reproduction.

If the length of occupancy at the top of the hierarchy exceeds the time it takes for its first set of offspring to mature and go away;
seems the revenge argument would carry less power (since only the current set of offspring would be in danger).

Yes, it seems like risk taking is advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint if it's a one time risk. Another example is women being into bold daredevil men. I can't help but think that its because the expected returns for these venturers are in the net positive.
 
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FallenApple said:
Yes, it seems like risk taking is advantageous from an evolutionary standpoint if it's a one time risk. Another example is women being into bold daredevil men. I can't help but think that its because the expected returns for these venturers are in the net positive.

You have to be careful here not to conflate modern day thoughts with evolutionary thoughts. I don't think women looked at men as daredevils wayback when. There were other criteria which changes from culture to culture and from time to time.
 
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The successful daredevils will (by definition) transmit more of any genes underlying their behavior to the next generation, then the less successful daredevils (dead or damaged, non-reproductive).
Less successful daredevils should be filtered out of the breeding population.
It might make it a better choice to select from genetically.
 
  • #9
jedishrfu said:
You have to be careful here not to conflate modern day thoughts with evolutionary thoughts. I don't think women looked at men as daredevils wayback when. There were other criteria which changes from culture to culture and from time to time.
Well yeah, back then the daredevils were warrriors. Now, they are probably business men. I mean it makes perfect sense for women to prefer risk takers. Because of the potential resources obtained for future generations. It's good for men to embark on such a strategy as well. At least in evolutionary terms. For example, If I were to take some risky business venture and fail, I am done for. Women would not want to date a broke guy, but my brothers will carry forward the family gene so it's not too bad. If I succeed, then my offspring and their offsprings will have more than enough resources, justifying the one time risk.
 
  • #10
BillTre said:
The successful daredevils will (by definition) transmit more of any genes underlying their behavior to the next generation, then the less successful daredevils (dead or damaged, non-reproductive).
Less successful daredevils should be filtered out of the breeding population.
It might make it a better choice to select from genetically.

And at every generation, the there is selection for more daredevil like tendencies. Just like there is selection for partners of greater heights. Everyone is tall compared to Lucy. And yet, we still select for the taller of the population at every step of the way, right translating the distribution over time. I think "daredevilness" is similarly selected for. Although, I think it's a bit more complicated, because there's a difference between being a bold James Bond like person and having a suicide wish.
 
  • #11
Woman are attracted to men who are equal to or above them in the social hierarchy - whatever that may be. In humans, this has evolved as a method of sexual selection, which is equally as important as natural selection.

An article about this with some real data:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-evolving-father/201311/non-dads-or-childless-men

In Australia, 90% of women aged 45-59 have given birth to at least one child, while 87% of men have fathered a child. Given that the population is basically 50/50, this can only be true if there are some men fathering lots of children, with some men fathering none.

Those who father none are the guys who can't get women. When have you ever heard of a woman who can't get a man?

A women can almost always pass on her genes if she wishes to, but their are many men who are hopelessly unable to pass on theirs. Therefore, competition among men for status, in combination with choosy women, is what drives selection for good genes.
 
  • #12
dipole said:
Woman are attracted to men who are equal to or above them in the social hierarchy

All else being equal I assume.

Surely a tall and handsome man can offset this so long as he is much better looking than the woman in question. In that case, the woman may go for the man even if he is below her in the social hierarchy. I wonder if any of the studies have accounted for this.
 
  • #13
dipole said:
In Australia, 90% of women aged 45-59 have given birth to at least one child, while 87% of men have fathered a child. Given that the population is basically 50/50, this can only be true if there are some men fathering lots of children, with some men fathering none.

Those who father none are the guys who can't get women. When have you ever heard of a woman who can't get a man?

@dipole, without clarifying things further, the statements you state above are frankly dubious, to say the least.

There are several factors involved about men who do not father children, besides "not getting women". For example:

1. Homosexuality -- by definition, gay men are less likely to father children (at least until recently -- nowadays, with surrogate parenting and adoptions this has changed).

2. Infertility

3. Celibacy -- Catholic priests are celibate (or are supposed to be celibate), and thus by definition do not father children.

4. Choice -- it is not unusual for men in relationships with women to choose not to father children (ostensibly this would be a mutual decision).

Even the Psychology Today article that you quote above (a magazine which is of variable quality in terms of publishing articles related to psychology, IMHO) makes these caveats, which you apparently do not.

Also, I hate to remind you this, but there are women out there who "can't get a man" either
 
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1. What is hypergamy?

Hypergamy is the practice of seeking a romantic or sexual partner who is of a higher social status or has greater resources than oneself.

2. What are the evolutionary reasons for hypergamy?

One evolutionary reason for hypergamy is the desire to secure resources for oneself and potential offspring. By choosing a partner with higher social status or resources, one may increase their chances of survival and reproductive success.

3. Is hypergamy observed in other animal species?

Yes, hypergamy is observed in many other animal species, particularly in those with a hierarchical social structure where individuals compete for resources and social status.

4. Are there any potential drawbacks to hypergamy?

One potential drawback of hypergamy is that it can lead to competition and conflict among individuals, particularly in societies where resources are scarce. It can also perpetuate societal inequalities and reinforce gender roles.

5. How does culture play a role in hypergamy?

Culture can greatly influence the practice of hypergamy, as societal norms and expectations can shape individuals' preferences for potential partners. For example, in some cultures, it may be more socially acceptable for women to seek a partner with higher social status, while in others, it may be frowned upon. Additionally, cultural beliefs and values can also impact the reasons for practicing hypergamy.

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