Attraction to and/or positive behavior toward strangers.
Xenophilia has only rarely been documented in nature. Because strangers often represent a threat to one’s resources, territory, and mating success, there is often little evolutionary payoff for acting prosocially toward unknown individuals, and potentially great costs for doing so (Temeles 1994; Wilson 1975). However, there are some circumstances where natural selection has favored positive interactions with strangers.
As a mechanism to avoid inbreeding in social living animals, young males or females may disperse to a new social group (Clutton-Brock 1989). Although the introduction of a stranger to a group can result in aggression and tension (Fragaszy et al. 1994), it is not unusual for opposite-sex individuals to be attracted to the newcomer, and in some cases may even protect them from attacks from other members of the group (Wade 1976)....
- Bernstein, I. S., & Gordon, T. P. (1974). The function of aggression in primate societies: Uncontrolled aggression may threaten human survival, but aggression may be vital to the establishment and regulation of primate societies and sociality. American Scientist, 62(3), 304–311. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/27844884.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hepper, P. G. (1986). Kin recognition: Functions and mechanisms. A review. Biological Reviews, 61(1), 63–93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-185X.1986.tb00427.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Spinks, A. C., O’Riain, M. J., & Polakow, D. A. (1998). Intercolonial encounters and xenophobia in the common mole rat, Cryptomys hottentotus hottentotus (Bathyergidae): The effects of aridity, sex, and reproductive status. Behavioral Ecology, 9(4), 354–359. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/9.4.354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wilson, E. O. (1975). Sociobiology: The new synthesis. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar