Communication of mate quality in humans

S. Craig Roberts

in Sociobiology of Communication

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199216840
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712043 | DOI:
 Communication of mate quality in humans

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In most human societies, individuals compare between numerous potential mates. Recent research on biological determinants of mate preferences explores the idea that attractive physical characteristics might be cues of underlying good genes. The first half of this chapter summarises this work on physical cues of mate quality, including facial, bodily, vocal and olfactory traits. The second half of the chapter speculates on how broad principles that arise out of this research might be directly transposed to understand potential good-gene effects on behaviour and ‘body language’. Reliability of behavioural cues betraying mate quality is likely to determine how far biological interpretations on behaviour can be applied, and an outline for how researchers might tackle this issue is proposed.

Keywords: mate choice; mate quality; human communication; olfaction; body language

Chapter.  8721 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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