Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Differential Parental Investment

  • Jose C. Yong
  • Norman P. LiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1898-1



Differences in minimum obligatory parental investment contributed by men and women lead the sexes to diverge in their sexual strategies and affective experiences, although under certain conditions, men’s mating preferences converge with women’s.


A general principle underlying mate choice is that the greater the amount of parental investment required for offspring survival, the more stringent criteria will be for potential mates (Trivers 1972). This chapter first describes necessary or obligatory parental investment, examines the origins of sex differences in obligatory parental investment, describes examples of such differences across a range of species, and highlights the consequences of these differences in terms of human sexual strategies, conflicts, and affective experiences. This chapter next describes nonobligatory parental investment that...


Parental Investment Elephant Seal Offspring Survival Sexual Strategy Sexual Infidelity 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Singapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Section editors and affiliations

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