Paternity Uncertainty and Parent–Offspring Conflict Explain Restrictions on Female Premarital Sex across Societies

Human Nature Vol/Iss. 33 Springer Published In Pages: 215-235
By Šaffa, Gabriel, Duda, Pavel, Zrzavý, Jan


This study tests competing theories about whether it is men, women, or parents who benefit most from restricting female premarital sex (FPS) in a global sample of 128 non-industrial societies. The study found support for the idea that multiple parties benefit from restrictions on FPS -- specifically FPS is more restricted in societies intolerant of extramarital sex and where men transfer property to their children (male control), as well as where marriages are arranged by parents (parental control). They also found that major predictors of FPS appear to be paternity uncertainty and parent-offspring conflict. Furthermore, the study found that multiple factors such as social roles, rather than stereotyped sex roles, are a more useful approach in understanding FPS restrictions and these restrictions.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS)CombinationAll data for 128 non-WEIRD societies

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:matthew.g.roth jacob.kalodner