Primogeniture, Monogamy and Reproductive Success in a Stratified Society
This paper explores the workings of stratified societies in which there is primogeniture and where the nobility practice monogamous marriage with a double standard of sexual fidelity. The paper models a simple stratified society and defines the reproductive values of male and female nobility relative to that of commoners. It goes on to explore implications of the hypothesis that preferences have evolved to favor maximization of reproductive value. This hypothesis is tested against fragmentary data from ancient civilizations and quite detailed information about the British aristocracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This work has been heavily influenced by theoretical discussions and empirical evidence found in the writings of an anthropologist, Laura Betzig, and an historian Lawrence Stone.
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