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Sex-specific demography and the evolution of gender-biased harmful cultural practices

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EvoBias project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EvoBias project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EvoBias" about.

mathematical    offspring    ratios    seem    human    origins    sexual    alternative    generates    modes    literature    sending    model    puzzles    evobias    strategies    underpins    groups    examined    framework    war    age    relatedness    females    evolutionary    provides    sociodemographic    residential    central    classic    marriage    capture    trivers    practices    workloads    away    biased    life    men    behaviours    cultural    refocuses    models    hypotheses    kin    kinship    dispersal    generating    sub    foundational    accusation    harmful    empirical    gender    combination    inherent    seek    witchcraft    eye    female    women    showed    intense    africa    parents    public    mating    bateman    theoretical    social    differences    explanation    hamilton    asia    traditions    sexes    advantage    diverse    boys    monastic    males    honour    demographic    sex    fit    killing    conflict    asymmetries    cooperation    saharan    sciences    disperses    basis    conflicts    few    east    theory    bride    team    families    demography    explore    patterns   

Project "EvoBias" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LONDON
postcode: WC1E 6BT
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 2˙396˙926 €
 EC max contribution 2˙396˙926 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2018-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2020
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2020-01-01   to  2024-12-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON UK (LONDON) coordinator 2˙396˙926.00


 Project objective

Cultural practices that are harmful to one sex, but favour the other, are the focus of intense interest in the public eye, the social sciences and the evolutionary human sciences. The foundational work of Hamilton, Bateman and Trivers, showed how kin selection theory provides a framework for understanding the evolutionary basis of conflicts of interest between the sexes and between parents and offspring. However, many gender-biased practices do not seem to fit this classic model of sexual conflict, in which males exploit females for their own mating advantage. Rather than focus on the inherent differences in sexual strategies of males and females, I will explore an alternative explanation, which is sex-specific demography. This framework refocuses attention away from sexual selection, towards patterns of cooperation and conflict within families. If one sex disperses at marriage, that generates sex and age-based asymmetries in relatedness in residential groups, but few theoretical models, or empirical studies, have examined how such demographic effects could explain the origins of gender-biased cultural behaviour. EvoBias will develop and test new evolutionary demographic models that will focus on the role of sex-ratios, sex-biased dispersal and some modes of marriage, in generating gender-biased harmful cultural practices. The behaviours to be studied include: female-biased workloads, witchcraft accusation, sending men to war, sending boys into monastic life, bride-capture and the ‘honour’ killing of women by their own kin. These represent both social issues and evolutionary puzzles. The diverse kinship systems in east and central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa provide opportunities to test these hypotheses. Through a combination of mathematical modelling, comparative studies using the literature and field-based sociodemographic studies, the team will seek evidence that sex-specific demography underpins these gender-biased harmful cultural traditions.

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The information about "EVOBIAS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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