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Lecture 15

Lecture 15 Parenting 1.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3100
Pat Barclay

Outline Lecture 15 (what follows from mating) Parenting 1 1. Child-rearing in pre-modern societies  Mortality rates o often between 40-50% o almost 50% of infants did not make it to puberty o we have been able to conquer most childhood mortality by curing infectious diseases o infant mortality is creeping back up in some of the poorer areas in the US  there are also conflicts of interest - because they are not genetically identical  sometimes it's better for them to invest more time in themselves than their offspring o genes make tough decisions in face of tough circumstances  “Cooperative breeding”: much help from other relatives  Trade-offs revisited: parental effort vs. mating effort o trade off between  somatic effort  invest in one's self  reproductive efforts  matting efforts  parental offspring (PI)  NATURAL SELECTION IS GOING TO FAVOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL SELECTION  Are nuclear families typical in small-scale societies? o It takes a village to raise a child o Children are cared for by more than immediate family o In an agricultural society: for children 0-4, taken from observation of all 342 members of village of "Grand Arse" Trinidad o Cooperative breeders (large family helping to raise new babies (humans share a lot of that) o Paternal uncertainty - mothers always know its their kids - dads don’t have the certainty  The more uncertainty he has the less he is engaged with the child o Hadza men play with their children less when there are more single fertile women around o Humans have bi-parenting o We are born much more helpless than other mammal offspring o We stay reproductively immature for many years 2. Grandmother Hypothesis  Grandmother hypothesis o Older women can increase RS by switching to investing in grandchildren o Children without mothers experience high mortality, and maternal mortality increase with age o Grandmothers increase grandchild survival and by direct grandmothering  This can result in decreased infant mortality  Decreased interbirth intervals  Earlier age of first reproduction o Older mothers are much more likely to die than younger mothers - as a result the children are more likely to die. Therefore they help with their grandchildren  They're helping their offspring survive  As well as helping their grandoffspring  Can have kids in a higher rate is the grandmother helps because with necessities o Grandmothers increase the fecundity and lifetime reproductive success (LRS) of their daughters (18th century data)  Women whos mothers are alive tend to have more children and more surviving children than when their mother is dead o ALSO: cease direct reproduction in order to avoid competing over alloparental (someone else caring for you) care with ones daughters and daughters-in-law  Why invest so much in grandoffspring?  Chip males prefer older females because the females are better mothers - Why have menopause (i.e. why cease reproducing when older)? o Could it be...  Limited number of eggs?  That number would evolve into a high number  This is the proximate explanation  Short lifespan in EEA (environment of evolutionary adaptivness)  This is the average and mask the fact that people do live into their 40's, 50, 60 and even 70's in the hunter gatherers societies  Some oldest individuals don’t even know what they were born - Switch to caring for grand offspring 3. What is the Optimum Number of Kids? - How many children? - Whats the optimal number? o Human females do not maximize number of offspring - Why not? o
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