Testosterone and paternal care in East African Foragers and Pastoralists
Muller, Martin N.
Marlowe, Frank W.
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CitationMuller, Martin N., Frank W. Marlowe, Revocatus Bugumba, and Peter T. Ellison. Testosterone and paternal care in East African foragers and pastoralists. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Series B, 276(1655): 347-354.
AbstractThe ‘challenge hypothesis’ posits that testosterone facilitates reproductive effort (investment in male–male competition and mate-seeking) at the expense of parenting effort (investment in offspring and mates). Multiple studies, primarily in North America, have shown that men in committed relationships, fathers, or both maintain lower levels of testosterone than unpaired men. Data from non-western populations, however, show inconsistent results. We hypothesized that much of this cross-cultural variation can be attributed to differential investment in mating versus parenting effort, even among married fathers. Here, we directly test this idea by comparing two neighbouring Tanzanian groups that exhibit divergent styles of paternal involvement: Hadza foragers and Datoga pastoralists. We predicted that high levels of paternal care by Hadza fathers would be associated with decreased testosterone in comparison with non-fathers, and that no such difference between fathers and non-fathers would be evident in Datoga men, who provide minimal direct paternal care. Twenty-seven Hadza men and 80 Datoga men between the ages of 17 and 60 provided morning and afternoon saliva samples from which testosterone was assayed. Measurements in both populations conﬁrmed these predictions, adding fur ther support to the hypothesis that paternal care is associated with decreased testosterone production in men.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:2600686
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