Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Relationship Dissolution

  • J. Gary BernhardEmail author
  • Kalman Glantz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2923-1

Synonyms

Definition

The process of ending a relationship by the voluntary action of at least one partner

Introduction

Most ancestral mammalian species didn’t form long-term male-female pair bonds. Males mated with estrous females, and when the female went out of estrus, the relationship ended. Dissolution only became an issue when the human species came into existence, at which time males and females began living together in long-term relationships. During the hunting and gathering era, the dissolution of these relationships was apparently simple and without serious consequences, either for the couple or their offspring. However, following the development of agriculture, dissolution became more problematic. Children needed paternal investment from a biological father, accumulated wealth made inheritance possible and paternity important, and rising religions condemned adultery and divorce.

Currently, in many societies, relationship dissolution is...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ShutesburyUSA
  2. 2.CambridgeUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kevin Bennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State University, BeaverMonacaUSA