Evolutionary Anthropology of the Human Family

Mark V. Flinn

in The Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Family Psychology

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780195396690
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Evolutionary Anthropology of the Human Family

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The family is a key human evolutionary adaptation. The extent and duration of offspring care is extraordinary—and unique in the huge informational transfer via language. Kin relationships are bilateral, complex, variable, multigenerational, and intergroup. Mating relationships are also variable, and influenced by kin in traditional cultures. These aspects of our sociality are biologically embedded in neurological and physiological mechanisms. Analysis of mechanisms such as affiliative and stress hormonal axes can provide clues into the evolution of the emotional and cognitive systems that underpin human family psychology.

Keywords: Child development; family; kinship; hormones; runaway social selection; human evolution

Article.  13677 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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