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Need for Alloparental Care and Attitudes Toward Homosexuals in 58 Countries: Implications for the Kin Selection Hypothesis

Playà, E; Vinicius, L; Vasey, PL; (2017) Need for Alloparental Care and Attitudes Toward Homosexuals in 58 Countries: Implications for the Kin Selection Hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychological Science , 3 (4) pp. 345-352. 10.1007/s40806-017-0105-9. Green open access

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Abstract

Homosexuality is an evolutionary puzzle. Many theories attempt to explain how a trait undermining individual reproduction can be maintained, but experimental testing of their predictions remains scarce. The kin selection hypothesis (KSH) is an important theoretical framework to account for the evolution of human homosexuality, postulating that its direct cost to reproduction can be offset by inclusive fitness gains through alloparental assistance to kin. Consistent evidence in support of the KSH has only been garnered from research on Samoan fa’afafine (i.e. feminine, same-sex attracted males), whereas research in numerous industrialized societies has repeatedly failed to secure empirical support for the theory. Here, we propose an alternative test of the KSH by investigating how need for alloparental care influences women’s attitudes toward homosexuality (AtH). AtH would influence the likelihood of women receiving alloparental care from homosexual kin. We applied logistic regression analysis to a large dataset (17,295 women in 58 countries) derived from the World Values Survey. As predicted by the KSH, women who are potentially most in need of alloparental support exhibit significantly more positive attitudes toward homosexuals. For single mothers who expressed parental care concerns, each additional child mothered was associated with an increase of 1.24 in their odds of exhibiting positive attitudes toward homosexuals. Our study is the first to provide circumstantial evidence in support of the KSH on a global scale.

Type: Article
Title: Need for Alloparental Care and Attitudes Toward Homosexuals in 58 Countries: Implications for the Kin Selection Hypothesis
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s40806-017-0105-9
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40806-017-0105-9
Language: English
Additional information: Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Evolution, Kin selection, Sexual orientation, Homosexuality, Attitudes toward homosexuals
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038116
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