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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.

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

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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