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Child-Rearing: Gender Roles

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Biased kin investment; Differential parental investment; Discriminative parental solicitude


From an evolutionary psychological perspective, males and females exhibit different child-rearing tendencies due to inherent obligatory differences in the degree of parental investment. In this framework, mothers tend to invest more in their children when compared to the degree demonstrated by fathers; because females generally invest more in their descendants than males, individuals are inclined to prefer children from the maternal lineage over those from the paternal lineage.

Gender Differences in Child-Rearing

Researchers in various scientific fields have investigated gender roles in child-rearing. In this entry, we consider the topic from the evolutionary psychological perspective. According to parental investment theory (Trivers, 1972), natural selection favors parents who make costly investments in their offspring, as such children are more likely to survive and...

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This work was funded by the Strategic Research Council (345183) and Academy of Finland (320162 and 338869).

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Correspondence to Antti O. Tanskanen .

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Tanskanen, A.O., Danielsbacka, M., Hämäläinen, H. (2023). Child-Rearing: Gender Roles. In: Shackelford, T.K. (eds) Encyclopedia of Sexual Psychology and Behavior. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-08956-5

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