National Geographic

Monogamy On the Brain: My New “Matter” Column for the New York Times

On Monday I reported in the New York Times on new research into the evolution of monogamy in mammals. For this week’s “Matter” column, I follow up with some thoughts on our somewhat monogamous species, and how a shift in mating patterns may have driven the evolution of our giant brains. Check it out.

There are 2 Comments. Add Yours.

  1. Ford Denison
    August 2, 2013

    Can we learn anything from relative length of fingers in cave paintings?

  2. Leslie
    August 9, 2013

    I’m curious about something I read in a book called Sperm Wars that I haven’t encountered in other, similar books. The author asserts that females are intended to mate with many males to increase her offspring’s chances of not just surviving but inheriting superior (my word) genes. He believes that female’s bodies possess the physical and chemical mechanisms to favor sperm from one male over another during her fertile period.

    Is there any merit to this theory currently?

    Note, I’m paraphrasing as a lay person, so I may have over generalized and simplified.

    [CZ: That's true, actually. I'll blog about some examples when I have a chance.]

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