Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Nuptial Gift

  • Sydni Huxman
  • Jordann Brandner
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1889-1

Synonyms

Definition

Biologically speaking, nuptial gifts are contributions – other than genetic materials – provided by a donor to a recipient during courtship. These materials are often designed to improve the fitness of the recipient, but can also be of little value or even no value (Lewis et al. 2014). In modern human mating, nuptial gifts exist most notably in the form of engagement and wedding rings.

Introduction

Several species of insects, birds, and mammals are known to give or exchange a diverse range of gifts during courtship or copulation including, but not limited to: nongametic organic materials, food items, and apparently worthless tokens (LeBas and Hockham 2005). In human mating, nuptial giving has existed for most of recorded history (Cronk and Dunham 2007). Modern human courtship often involves men offering prenuptial and nuptial gifts which are of high cost to provide, but of little or no tangible benefit to the...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Anderson, S. (2007). The economics of dowry and brideprice. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21, 151–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Brockmann, J. H., Naguib, M., & Roper, T. J. (2012). The evolution of animal nuptial gifts. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 44, 53–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cronk, L., & Dunham, B. (2007). Amounts spent on engagement rings reflect aspects of male and female mate quality. Human Nature, 18, 329–333.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. LeBas, N. R., & Hockham, L. R. (2005). An invasion of cheats: The evolution of worthless nuptial gifts. Current Biology, 15, 64–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Lewis, S. M., Vahed, K., Koene, J. M., Engqvist, L., Bussiere, L. F., Perry, J. C., Gwynne, D., & Lehmann, G. U. C. (2014). Emerging issues in the evolution of animal nuptial gifts. Biology Letters, 10, 20140336.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Sozou, P. D., & Seymour, R. M. (2005). Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship. Proceedings of the Royal Society, 272, 1877–1884.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gary L Brase
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA