Death, Hope, and Sex: Life-History Theory and the Development of Reproductive Strategies [and Comments and Reply]

  title={Death, Hope, and Sex: Life-History Theory and the Development of Reproductive Strategies [and Comments and Reply]},
  author={James S. Chisholm and Peter T Ellison and Jeremy Evans and P. C. Lee and Leslie Sue Lieberman and Zdeněk Pavl{\'i}k and Alan S. Ryan and Elizabeth M. Salter and William A. Stini and Carol M Worthman},
  journal={Current Anthropology},
  pages={1 - 24}
Many social scientists reject evolutionary views of human behavior because of their supposed genetic determinism. To establish that not all evolutionary models are inherently deterministic the author first reviews the perennial adaptationist-mechanist controversy in evolutionary biology. He then outlines life-history theory a burgeoning field of biology devoted to the study of reproduction growth and development and ecology in an evolutionary context. He undertakes next to show how life-history… 
Do human ‘life history strategies’ exist?
Recommendations for improving the usefulness of this human life history literature are made, including greater clarity over terminology, and more empirical data on linkages between life history traits, behavioural traits and the environment, including the underlying mechanisms which generate these linkages.
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  • Economics
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
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Rickard and associates (2014, this issue) challenge the theoretical claim that early developmental experiences influence sexual development and behavior as a result of the continuity of early- and later-life environments over the course of human history and contend that sexual development, health, and longevity are regulated by internal (bodily) state reflective of morbidity and mortality risk.
Genes, Brains, and Culture: Returning to a Darwinian Evolutionary Psychology
Chisholm's central thesis is that the life histories of individual human beings (i.e., reproductive strategies, speeds of maturation, testosterone levels, mate seeking and risk-taking behaviors?even
Darwin's Legacy: An Evolutionary View of Women's Reproductive and Sexual Functioning
The known variability in ovarian functioning is summarized, the implications of this variability for conducting sex research are considered, and the relative merits of various biomarkers that serve as proxy measurements of a woman's reproductive and hormonal status are evaluated.
Environmental contingency in life history strategies: the influence of mortality and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing.
Overall, mortality cues appear to shift individuals into different life history strategies as a function of childhood socioeconomic status, suggesting important implications for how environmental factors can influence fertility and family size.
Developmental influences on fertility decisions by women: an evolutionary perspective
This work examines the associations between early adversity, age at menarche and fertility and fecundity in women, and examines the evidence that potential mechanisms such as birth weight, childhood body composition, risky health behaviours and developmental influences on attractiveness link the early environment and fecunda and fertility.
The ecology and evolutionary endocrinology of reproduction in the human female.
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  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
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This review considers what is known and what still needs to be learned of the ecology of women's reproductive biology, beginning with a discussion of the principal explanatory frameworks in HRE and the biometry of ovarian functioning.
Evolutionary ecology of human reproduction.
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  • Biology
    Annual review of anthropology
  • 1998
This article reviews the evolutionary ecology of human reproduction and discusses the significance of and the interaction between different levels of adaptability for the adaptive solution of reproductive problems, the dialectics of constraints and adaptive choices in reproductive decisions, and the dynamics of demographic change.
Commentary: transgenerational effects of parental death-a life history perspective.
  • P. Hõrak
  • Biology, Psychology
    International journal of epidemiology
  • 2017
It is suggested that Vågerös and Rajaleid’s dataset could be used to validate the predictions of life history theory (LHT), a branch of evolutionary ecology that predicts that organisms are expected to respond to cues of environmental harshness and uncertainty by speeding up reproduction, even at the expense of somatic and social costs.
Environmental risks, life history strategy, and developmental psychology.
This review introduces the evolutionary biological backgrounds and basic principles of LHT as well as their applications in developmental psychology and explains the effects of four aspects of environmental risks on human LH strategy.


The Evolution of Male Parental Investment in Mammals
A variety of approaches have been used to understand the evolution of male parental care and ecological factors such as harshness, richness, and unpredictability have been invoked to explain the presence of unusual levels of male investment in smaller taxonomic units.
The Role of Development in the Evolution of Life Histories
The aspects of development that interest students of life history evolution are plasticity, canalization, and constraint, and organisms appear to be a mosaic of relatively recent adaptations which they would like to understand in terms of developmental mechanisms.
Death, Sex, and Fertility: Population Regulation in Preindustrial and Developing Societies
This book reassesses the balance between mutable cultural factors and more intractable biological processes in the establishment of modes of reproduction among preindustrial and developing societies.
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    The American Naturalist
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The proposal of Gadgil and Bossert (1970) to amend Cole's (1954) conclusion regarding the relative merit of perennial compared to annual reproduction is questioned.
The evidence supports the infanticide hypothesis, and it is speculated that infanticides avoidance is also responsible for the near-universal occurrence among primates of male-female bonds.
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It is concluded that variance in life table parameters must be known in detail to understand the selective bases of levels of reproductive effort and the empirical bases for testing these predictions are presently inadequate.
The Adapted mind : evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture
Although researchers have long been aware that the species-typical architecture of the human mind is the product of our evolutionary history, it has only been in the last three decades that advances
Human Ovarian Function and Reproductive Ecology: New Hypotheses
8 hypotheses based on recent research are proposed relating the response of human ovarian function to ecological factors to gain a systhesis of ovarian physiology based on evolutionary theory, which provides an indication of chronic environmental qualities especially energy supply.
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  • Environmental Science
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
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Life‐history theory is used to predict reaction norms for age and size at maturation and makes possible a clear distinction between the genetic and phenotypic components of variation.
Childhood experience and the onset of menarche: a test of a sociobiological model.
In this study, the effect of family stressors on menarche was mediated by neither behavior problems nor weight, contrary to the predictions, and the most provocative proposition advanced by Belsky et al. received empirical support.