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Evolutionary Psychological Science

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 118–124 | Cite as

Religious Veiling as a Mate-Guarding Strategy: Effects of Environmental Pressures on Cultural Practices

  • Farid Pazhoohi
  • Martin Lang
  • Dimitris Xygalatas
  • Karl Grammer
Research Article

Abstract

Male parental investment can contribute to the fitness of both sexes through increased fertility and child survivorship. The level and intensity of parental investment are dependent upon ecological variations: in harsh and demanding environments, the need for biparental care increases. Moreover, when environmental pressures increase, uncertainty over paternity may lead to favoring stricter mate-guarding practices, thus directing males to invest more effort toward controlling and guarding their mates from infidelity. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that religious veiling, as a social and cultural practice which regulates and restricts sexuality, will be more important in harsher environments. Our results show that harsh and demanding environments are associated with the importance of religious veiling and the level of religiosity, providing a link between cultural practices such as religious veiling and ecological variation.

Keywords

Religious veiling Paternal investment Reproductive success National health index Ecological variations Religion Human mate guarding Hijab 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank James F. Doyle for his comments on the earlier draft of the manuscript. FP receives funding from FCT Portugal through grant PD/BD/114366/2016.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farid Pazhoohi
    • 1
  • Martin Lang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dimitris Xygalatas
    • 4
    • 5
  • Karl Grammer
    • 6
  1. 1.Human Cognition Laboratory, Department of Basic PsychologyUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Human Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.LEVYNA, Laboratory for the Experimental Research of ReligionMasaryk UniversityBrnoCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  5. 5.Interacting Minds Centre, Department of Culture and SocietyAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  6. 6.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of ViennaWienAustria

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