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Inclusive fitness for in-laws

Dyble, M; Gardner, A; Vinicius, L; Migliano, AB; (2018) Inclusive fitness for in-laws. Biology Letters , 14 (10) , Article 20180515. 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0515. Green open access

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Cooperation among kin is common across the natural world and can be explained in terms of inclusive fitness theory, which holds that individuals can derive indirect fitness benefits from aiding genetically related individuals. However, human kinship includes not only genetic kin but also kin by marriage: our affines (in-laws) and spouses. Can cooperation between these genetically unrelated kin be reconciled with inclusive fitness theory? Here, we argue that although affinal kin and spouses do not necessarily share genetic ancestry, they may have shared genetic interests in future reproduction and, as such, can derive indirect fitness benefits though cooperating. We use standard inclusive fitness theory to derive a coefficient of shared reproductive interest (s) that predicts altruistic investment both in genetic kin and in spouses and affines. Specifically, a behaviour that reduces the fitness of the actor by c and increases the fitness of the recipient by b will be favoured by natural selection when sb > c. We suggest that the coefficient of shared reproductive interest may provide a valuable tool for understanding not only the evolution of human kinship but also cooperation and conflict across the natural world more generally.

Type: Article
Title: Inclusive fitness for in-laws
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0515
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0515
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: kin selection, affines, kinship, inclusive fitness
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082351
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