Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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

Homosexuality Paradox, The

  • Austin JefferyEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_40-1



The heritable components of human homosexuality are not immediately explicable according to basic evolutionary principles because they entail reduced average individual reproductive success relative to alternative genotypes.


Evolutionary psychology generates research questions by considering the ancestral survival and reproductive challenges faced by humans and human ancestors. At the heart of evolutionary thinking is reproductive success, as every trait informed by genetics must allow for its own replication in the next generation. For example, a genetic mutation that causes early death or sterility will not replicate under normal circumstances and is thus quickly removed from the population. Less extreme cases of limited reproductive success also tend to be outcompeted by prevailing alternatives. If a mutation merely reduces fertility (i.e., lower probability of fertilization at each copulation, all else equal),...


Reproductive Success Sexual Attraction Female Stimulus Homosexual Woman Male Homosexuality 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gayle Brewer
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Central LancashirePrestonUK