Mate choice, marital success, and reproduction in a modern society

T. Bereczkei, Andras Csanaky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A series of eight predictions concerning human mating was tested on interviews with 1057 female and 774 male Hungarians, who were dose to completed fertility. Mating preferences as predicted from the evolutionary explanations are reflected in actual mate choice. Males, more than females, prefer and choose younger mates at marriage, whereas females tend to marry higher educated mates. The reproductive consequences of mate choice are adaptive: females who marry higher status mates and males who choose younger mates have significantly more surviving children than those following alternative mating strategies. This link between mating preferences and reproductive output may be mediated by marital success as a proximate mechanism. Couples whose wives are younger and/or less educated and whose husbands are older and/or more educated stay together for a longer period of time than other couples. Similarly, the age and educational differences between spouses are associated with marriage quality. Finally, homogamy is found as a widespread form of mate choice that proved to be almost as productively successful a strategy as hypergamy. We argue that females switch between homogamy and hypergamy and vice versa, depending on the particular social circumstance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-35
Number of pages19
JournalEthology and Sociobiology
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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mate choice
mating behavior
Reproduction
Spouses
marriage
Marriage
spouses
Fertility
fertility
interviews
reproductive performance
society
Mate
Modernity
Interviews
prediction
dosage
young

Keywords

  • Homogamy
  • Hypergamy
  • Marital success
  • Mating strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Mate choice, marital success, and reproduction in a modern society. / Bereczkei, T.; Csanaky, Andras.

In: Ethology and Sociobiology, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1996, p. 17-35.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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