Harsh environments promote alloparental care across human societies

Proceedings of the Royal Society B Vol/Iss. 287(1933) Royal Society Publishing London Published In Pages: 1-9
By Martin, J.S., Ringen, E.J., Duda, P., Jaeggi, A.V.


This study utilizes Bayesian statistics to test the associations between harsh environments (specifically those with higher degrees of climate variability and relatively lower average temperature and precipitation) and alloparental care in societies throughout the world. Results support the hypothesis that societies in harsher environments show higher rates of alloparental care and that societies with higher rates of starvation and resource stress exhibit lower rates of alloparental care. The authors explain this theorizing that in the former relative costs are sufficiently outweighed by the benefits of this type of cooperation and in the latter they are not. They conclude that their results support the plasticity of human alloparenting as a response to varying ecology.


Due to the use of Bayesian statistics, p-values are not listed in the results of this paper.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)by other researchersdata retrieved from D-PLACE

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:dmccloskey103