Access to Resources
Opportunity to acquire food, shelter, mates, and other necessities for survival and reproductive success.
Natural selection is a straightforward process: Variation exists among individuals, and some of this variation is heritable. Some heritable attributes allow individuals to better cope with survival pressures such as predation or climactic changes and to enjoy greater success when competing for resources or mates. These individuals will leave more copies of their genes in the gene pool than individuals with less successful traits. The genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation’s gene pool (relative to the average for that population) is referred to as fitness.
From an evolutionary standpoint, therefore, the fundamental problem that an organism must solve is maximizing reproductive success which in turn reduces to maximizing access to fertile mates and resources.
An individual’s access to mates and resources...
KeywordsReproductive Success Dominance Hierarchy Reciprocal Altruism Status Hierarchy Fertile Female
- Altmann, J., Alberts, S. C., Haines, S. A., Dubach, J., Muruth, P., Coote, T., Geffen, E., Cheesman, D. J., Mututua, R. A., Saiyalel, S. N., Wayne, R. K., Lacy, R. C., & Bruford, M. W. (1996). Behavior predicts genetic structure in a wild primate group. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 93, 5795–5801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Betzig, L. L. (1986). Despotism and differential reproduction: A Darwinian view of history. Hawthorne: Aldine.Google Scholar
- Clutton-Brock, T. H. (1988). Reproductive success. In T. H. Clutton-Brock (Ed.), Reproductive success. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
- Cummins, D. D. (2005). Dominance, status, and social hierarchies. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), The handbook of evolutionary psychology (pp. 676–697). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Schmitt, D. P., Schmitt, D. P., Alcalay, L., Allik, J., Ault, L., Austers, I., Bennett, K. L., et al. (2003). Universal sex differences in the desire for sexual variety: Tests from 52 nations, 6 continents, and 13 islands. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 85–104.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Smith, P. K. (1988). The cognitive demands of children’s social interactions with peers. In R. W. Byrne & A. Whiten (Eds.), Machiavellian intelligence: Social expertise and the evolution of intellect in monkeys, apes, and humans (pp. 94–110). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- World Development Report. (2012). Gender equality and development. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar