Parents often disagree with their children over their choice of partner. Although the reasons may vary the outcome is very often one of conflict – a conflict peculiar to the human species. For the first time in one volume, Sexual Selection under Parental Choice employs an evolutionary perspective to understand this conflict and explore its implications.
Covering recent developments in the field of evolutionary psychology, Menelaos Apostolou reveals the extent of parental attempts to control the mating decisions of their offspring and investigates the qualities parents seek in prospective in-laws. Children’s attempt to escape this control can lead to practices such as foot-binding and clitoridectomy or, in postindustrial societies, more subtle forms of coercion and manipulation. Apostolou demonstrates that much of human mating behavior has been shaped by parental choice and that parents have a significant influence in sexual selection: the traits they favour in their children’s mates are selected and increase in frequency in the population.
Sexual Selection under Parental Choice will be ideal reading for researchers and advanced students of evolutionary, developmental and social psychology, as well as other related disciplines such as social anthropology, sociology and the biological sciences.
Table of Contents
Preface. Introduction. 1: Parent-offspring Conflict over Mating: The Evolutionary Roots of Romeo and Juliet’s story. 2: Parent-Offspring Conflict over Mating: The Road Has more Turns. 3: Sexual Selection under Parental Choice: Evolution beyond the Peacock’s Tail. 4: From the Present to the Past: The Patterns of Mating During the Period of Human Evolution. 5: Parental Control over Mating through Social Institutions. 6: Social Structures and Parental Control over Mating. 7: The Art of Manipulation: Parental Influence over Mate Choice in Postindustrial Societies. 8: What Parents Want? In-law Preferences across Cultures. 9: Choose and Be Chosen. 10: Mate Choice without Parents. Postscript.