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How Many Mates? Impact of Disease and Punishment on Tendency Toward Polygyny vs Monogamy

Wed, March 13th, 2019
1:00 pm
- 1:45 pm

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How Many Mates? Impact of Disease and Punishment on Tendency Toward Polygyny vs Monogamy by Donglin Zhang ’19, Wednesday, March 13, 1-1:45 pm, Stetson Court Classroom 101, Mathematics Colloquium

Abstract:  How many mates? Impact of disease and punishment on tendency toward polygyny vs. monogamy.
Abstract: When most societies were patriarchally polygynous, what led to the transition to monogamy as a norm in many larger human societies? Chris T. Bauch and Richard McElreath’s discrete-time agent-based simulation model explore the interactions among group size, disease dynamics of common sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), and social norms in an attempt to explain the emergence of socially imposed monogamy. Because STI’s impact fertility and therefore fitness, it is interesting to consider the effects of this relative to group fitness and choice of mating behavior. This model suggests that costly punishment of polygamy by monogamists allow the latter class to dominate in larger groups (N=300) while stochasticity leads to STI fade out in smaller groups (N=30).

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