Human Evolution

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 245–259 | Cite as

The precultural human mating system

  • M. C. Mansperger
Article

Abstract

What was the precultural human mating system? This paper uses primate cross-species comparisons to arrive at a plausible answer which challenges many current theories. The results of this investigation suggest that (1) our precultural ancestors resided in multimale, multifemale communities; (2) the male-female consortships of our ancestors were genetically programmed to last for a short period, i.e., a few months or less; and, most importantly, (3) the precultural human mating system was a form of «selective promiscuity.» Also, it is suggested that our precultural mating system is a continuing fundamental tendency within us that is being suppressed and modified by culture.

Key words

Cross-Species Comparisons Mating System Precultural Multimale Organization Promiscuity Consortship 

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Copyright information

© Editrice Il Sedicesimo 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. C. Mansperger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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