Genetic Relatedness And The Social Evolution Of Species Essay

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Many attachment behaviors in nonhuman animals include physical touch and maintaining proximity through close body contact; in humans, behavior patterns associated with attachment are accompanied by feelings of security, peace, comfort, and reduced anxiety when in physical contact with a partner (Fisher, 1998). According to Harlow’s (Harlow & Harlow, 1966) age-mate affectional system, during the period of motor incoordination, infants that physically contact each other reflexively cling and clasp to one another for bodily contact. Though motherless, the test subjects have each other to kindle one another’s emotional maturation through physical exposure. Consequently, as the infants grow and develop, clinging and clasping to one another for physical and emotional support, loving attachments between them will likely form. But what will be the nature of these relations?
Many evolutionary biologists argue that genetic relatedness has played a role in the social evolution of species. Historically, conceptive sexual behavior between close genetic relatives produces offspring that suffer from a decline in fitness due to homozygous-recessive deleterious genes and susceptibility to parasites that target more genetically homogeneous populations (Lieberman et al., 2007). As mating is “the single most important act of any individual of any sexually reproducing species,” organisms have developed mechanisms to discriminate against genetically related individuals when choosing a mate…

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