Time: January 31, 2013 from 4pm to 5pm
Location: UNM Main Campus- Hibben 105
Website or Map: http://maxwellmuseum.unm.edu/
Event Type: lecture/presentation
Organized By: Maxwell Museum
Latest Activity: Jan 16, 2013
Compared to other species, humans show a remarkable degree of variation in family organization. This talk presents recent advances in the application of evolutionary thinking to the study of the human family, focusing on the evolution of monogamous marriage.
Fortunato will present the results of a game-theoretic model investigating the co-evolution of marriage and wealth inheritance strategies. The analysis shows that where resources are transferred across generations, monogamous marriage may be advantageous because it "concentrates" wealth in a limited number of heirs. It may also be advantageous because a female may grant her husband higher probability of paternity if he marries monogamously, leading to exclusive investment of his resources in her offspring. The results of two case studies testing specific predictions of the theoretical model will also be presented. In closing, Fortunato will discuss implications of these findings for understanding of the evolution of human family systems.
Laura Fortunato is an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. Her research aims to understand the evolution of human social and cultural behavior, focusing on human family systems, social complexity, and cultural evolution. See www.santafe.edu/~fortunato for further details.