author={Geoffrey F. Miller},
  journal={The Quarterly Review of Biology},
  pages={97 - 125}
  • G. Miller
  • Published 1 June 2007
  • Psychology
  • The Quarterly Review of Biology
Moral evolution theories have emphasized kinship, reciprocity, group selection, and equilibrium selection. Yet, moral virtues are also sexually attractive. Darwin suggested that sexual attractiveness may explain many aspects of human morality. This paper updates his argument by integrating recent research on mate choice, person perception, individual differences, costly signaling, and virtue ethics. Many human virtues may have evolved in both sexes through mutual mate choice to advertise good… 
Mating Intelligence, Moral Virtues, and Methodological Vices
It is argued that the “mating intelligence” theory, as a theory about the evolution of morality, comes too dangerously close to being unfalsifiable because it embodies some auxiliary hypotheses and vague definitions which make it practically immune to every possible empirical finding concerning sex differences in human moral traits.
Altruism and fairness: Unnatural selection?
The Blessing of Sexuality: Evolution of Altruism with Mating Preference
The basic hypothesis is that altruism is a sexually attractive virtue, and the concepts of altruistic punishment and the behaviour-based sexual attractiveness are employed to develop a gender-based evolutionary model where mating preference acts as the compensation to the male punishers from females in the given public goods game.
Runaway Social Selection for Displays of Partner Value and Altruism
Runaway social selection resulting from partner choice may have shaped aspects of human cooperation and complex sociality that are otherwise hard to account for. Social selection is the subtype of
Altruism predicts mating success in humans
The results suggest that altruists have higher mating success than non-altruists and support the hypothesis that altruism is a sexually selected costly signal of difficult-to-observe qualities.
Chinese undergraduates' preferences for altruistic traits in mate selection and personal advertisement: Evidence from Q‐sort technique
When Chinese participants chose a mate or advertised themselves to a potential mate, kin altruism was considered to be the most important trait; altruistic traits were more preferred by males than by females and females tended to advertise themselves as more altruistic.
Morality: An Evolutionary Account
  • D. Krebs
  • Psychology
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2008
Refinements in Darwin's theory of the origin of a moral sense create a framework equipped to organize and integrate contemporary theory and research on morality. Morality originated in deferential,
Explaining financial and prosocial biases in favor of attractive people: Interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, social psychology, and evolutionary psychology
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that mating motives play a more important role in driving financial and prosocial biases toward attractive adults than previously recognized.
Mutual mate choice drives the desirability of altruism in relationships
Although previous research has found that altruism is an important trait in human mate choice, much of this has concentrated on female preferences only. Subsequently, the current study explored how
The influence of mate choice motivation on non-financial altruism
Several studies have found that individuals are more altruistic towards potential mates than others, suggesting altruistic behavior may be a mating signal. Much of the literature focuses on financial


Evolution, traits, and the stages of human courtship: qualifying the parental investment model.
Males had lower requirements for a sexual partner than did females, but were nearly as selective as females when considering requirements for an long-term partner, and females were more selective overall, particularly on status-linked variables.
Sexual selection, receiver biases, and the evolution of sex differences.
  • M. Ryan
  • Biology, Psychology
  • 1998
These studies combine animal behavior, sensory biology, phylogenetics, and artificial neural network models to understand why specific phenotypes involved in sexual selection have evolved, rather than merely determining whether such traits and preferences are adaptive.
Sexual strategies theory: an evolutionary perspective on human mating.
A contextual-evolutionary theory of human mating strategies is proposed, hypothesized to have evolved distinct psychological mechanisms that underlie short-term and long-term strategies between men and women.
Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures
  • D. Buss
  • Psychology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 1989
Abstract Contemporary mate preferences can provide important clues to human reproductive history. Little is known about which characteristics people value in potential mates. Five predictions were
Sexual selection for indicators of intelligence.
  • G. Miller
  • Biology, Psychology
    Novartis Foundation symposium
  • 2000
It is argued that during human evolution, mate choice by both sexes focused increasingly on intelligence as a major heritable component of biological fitness, and humans evolved an unusually high degree of interest in assessing each other's intelligence during courtship and other social interactions.
The biosocial female choice theory of social stratification
The theory asserts that most human females have evolved mating preferences biased toward males who are competent in provisioning resources, and postulates that alleles have accumulated on the human genome that promote social status‐striving and achievement to varying degrees.
The sexual selection continuum
A general model of female choice for indirect benefits that captures the essence of both the ‘Fisherian’ and ‘good genes’ models is built and all versions of the model point to a single process that favours female preference for males siring offspring of high reproductive value.
The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism
During human evolutionary history, there were “trade-offs” between expending time and energy on child-rearing and mating, so both men and women evolved conditional mating strategies guided by cues
Coevolution of costly mate choice and condition-dependent display of good genes
  • D. HouleA. Kondrashov
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2002
Coevolution of a female mate-preference function and a genotype–dependent male display function where mutation supplies variation in genotype quality and mate preference is costly is studied.
Moral Cognition: Explaining the Gender Difference in Antisocial Behavior
Males' greater propensity for antisocial (i.e., externalizing) behavior has been well documented. Because males and females generally have evidenced negligible differences in moral judgment stage, we