Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Incest Avoidance and Dating

  • Debra LiebermanEmail author
  • Joseph Billingsley
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3653-1


Humans, like many other animals, possess information-processing programs that guide mate choice. Inherent in mate choice programs are procedures that weigh the potential benefits versus costs of selecting a particular individual as a sexual partner. The question is, which attributes would have been causally linked to the probability of reproductive success and thus part of the calculation that assesses the costs versus benefits of a given sexual partner? Furthermore, how are different attributes traded off against one another? After all, one rarely encounters a mate that is a “10” in every desirable category. That is, one is unlikely to encounter (never mind attract and retain) a mate that is a 10 in every relevant category. Instead, individuals vary in their value as a sexual partner, and to the extent that certain trade-offs had greater positive feedback with respect to selection, then we should see psychologies sensitive to making such trade-offs.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tara DeLecce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA