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date: 05 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews research on the evolution of paternal care in humans. It examines human fatherhood within the phylogenetic distribution of paternal care in vertebrates, especially mammals. Phylogenetic comparisons draw out several correlates of paternal care across species, with the most important being social monogamy. Research on the evolution of paternal care in humans has also focused on the relationship between social monogamy and the evolution of paternal care. The chapter reviews this research and major debates around whether male provisioning was a key adaptation in the evolution of pair-bonds and human life history. It discusses evidence for direct male care and summarizes a possible evolutionary sequence of its evolution in humans. It considers studies on the neuroendocrinology of male care in humans, drawing from comparative studies where appropriate. Lastly, this chapter outlines several major biocultural frameworks for understanding population-level patterns of paternal care as integrated, developmental responses to specific socioecological factors.

Keywords: fatherhood, paternal care, testosterone, male care, social monogamy, pair-bonds

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