Mate preferences and infectious disease: Theoretical considerations and evidence in humans

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Mate preferences may operate in part to mitigate the threats posed by infectious disease. In this paper, we outline various ways in which preferring healthy mates can offer direct benefits in terms of pathogen avoidance and indirect benefits in terms of heritable immunity to offspring, as well as the costs that may constrain mate preferences for health. We then pay special attention to empirical work on mate preferences in humans given the depth and breadth of research on human mating. We review this literature and comment on the degree to which human mate preferences may reflect preferences for health. © 2011 The Royal Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3375-3388
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Biological Sciences
    Volume366
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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