Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Alliance Formation Theory

  • Frank MuscarellaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_44-1



A theory holding that homosexual behavior in human males derives from selection for behavior that reinforces male alliances.


The incidence of exclusive same-sex sexual preference (exclusive homosexuality) in humans is greater in men than in women and varies across cultures and historical periods (LeVay 2011). The incidence in contemporary Western cultures is estimated to range between 2 % and 6 % (Barthes et al. 2013). Exclusive homosexuality is an evolutionary paradox, because it does not contribute to reproduction; consequently, it is unclear how genes that may contribute to it are inherited and maintained in the population. The trend in theory and research has been to identify a single explanation. However, recently, some authors have made compelling arguments for more complex and multicomponent explanations that involve both ultimate (evolutionary) and proximate...


Dominance Hierarchy Alliance Formation Human Male Homosexual Behavior Bisexual Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barry UniversityMiami ShoresUSA