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For long-term mating, however, the female is faced with the challenge of optimizing the combination of leadership and provider traits.
Until now, scientists have not understood how humans evolved to prioritize pair-bonding over promiscuity, a critical development that laid the foundation for the modern family.
Evolutionary biologists have struggled to explain how pair bonding and the nuclear family structure took root in humans, as primate groups typically establish dominance-driven hierarchies that restrict mating privileges to a few high-ranking males.…Using simple mathematical models, Sergey Gavrilets revealed that the most commonly proposed theories for human pair bonding are biologically unrealistic.
Then, incorporating among other factors the evolution of female choice and faithfulness, the researcher devised a model showing how pair bonding can represent a key adaptation underscoring the uniqueness of human evolution.
In addition, the “sexy sons” hypothesis states that women would have been eager to pass along dominant genes to their own offspring.
Sadalla, Kenrick, and Vershure (1987) published evidence indicating that women prefer men who are high in dominance over men who are low in dominance as potential dates (i.e., potential short-term relationship partners) and rate them as more attractive.
Women also perceive very dominant males as more likely to cheat and divert resources away from the family.