Alloparenting and Grandparenting
A system of parenting where people other than the parents act in a parental role and help raise children that are not necessarily their own.
As the social animals we are, we have evolved in ways that promote cooperation because individuals who help each other are more likely to survive in threatening environments than those who do not cooperate. Additionally, because the end goal of evolution is not necessarily to survive but to reproduce and pass one’s genes on to future generations, we have evolved mechanisms that will increase the chances of survival of our offspring. One such mechanism involves having other members of the group aid in the rearing of a child, a term that is known as alloparenting. The following section describes how alloparenting works, and why people may willingly help raise a child that is not theirs.
According to Bentley and Mace (2009), alloparenting is when children are cared after by individuals who are not their...
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