Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Family

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2460-1
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Synonyms

Definition

People who are related by descent (including adoption) and marriage

Introduction

In every human society, people identify certain others as family. These social relationships are an important part of people’s lives, with family (or descent) groups being the main unit of social organization in many societies. While kinship is a human universal, norms about who is considered family, and the expectations and obligations of family members vary cross-culturally. Family tends to include those related by descent and marriage. Kin are typically categorized as consanguineal, meaning related by descent, or affinal, meaning related by marriage. Given that humans are a social species, family relationships influence many aspects of people’s lives.

Evolutionary Perspectives

When examining family from an evolutionary perspective, researchers tend to focus on those individuals who are biologically related. This is because help to kin, and its amount, can be...

Keywords

Reproductive Conflict Sexual Conflict Theory Delay Reproduction Cooperative Breeding Biological Offspring 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina – BeaufortBlufftonUSA