The polygyny threshold model (PTM) provides an explanation for the occurrence of polygyny in the animal kingdom – the mating/marriage of one male with multiple females. This model is principally applied to species, including humans, in which males provide/defend resources to provision their mates and offspring. The polygyny threshold refers to the minimum level of inequality in male resource holding, such that a given female’s reproductive success is enhanced by becoming the second mate of a resource-rich and already paired male, rather than the sole mate of a resource-poor unpaired male. Once this threshold is surpassed and there is sufficient inequality, polygyny is predicted to occur.
Understanding the determinants of mating and marriage systems is vital to a complete understanding of humanity, since they have been demonstrated to have knock on effects at many levels of society. These tenants of...
- Parental Investment
- Female Choice
- Female Fitness
- Female Mate Preference
- Resource Holding
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Chaudhary, N. (2016). Polygyny Threshold, The. In: Weekes-Shackelford, V., Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2565-1
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