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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Evolutionary family sociology studies how genetic relatedness and psychological predispositions shape intimate relations. It approaches human families in comparison to other species and the history of hominid evolution. This chapter outlines the main assumptions and recent advances in evolutionary family sociology. The study of parenting and mating is of interest to both sociologists and evolutionists. Our understanding of couple relations, gender equality, and involved fatherhood, deepens as sexual selection theory is combined with family system theories. Grandparenting is another research field for which an integration between Darwinian theory and mainstream family sociology is underway. Questions of helping, conflicts, and kin lineages are central for such studies on cross-generational relations. The Darwinian perspective has focused attention on the effects of genetic relatedness on familial sentiment and behavior and also on the universal patterns characterizing family dynamics. Sociological insights have helped specify cases in which evolutionary predictions need elaboration in order to better capture the variety and complexity of human families.

Keywords: family, family systems, parents, grandparents, kin selection, parental investment, siblings, affinal kin, sex ratio

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