Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research 2:2 (August 1992), pp. 301-302. Copyright © 1992 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


The application of evolutionary theory of inclusive fitness to understanding human social behavior has seen a recent resurgence in anthropology, psychology, and sociology. While sociobiological theory and research are still incipient In these disciplines, the perspective has received enough attention to warrant all social scientists becoming more acquainted with the theory and methods of the practicing sociobiologist. The title and modest size of this book (only 130 pages) suggest that it might serve well for this purpose. It contains seven original papers by practicing sociobiologists written for an audience not well versed in the evolutionary model. While terms are carefully defined and perspectives developed with little jargon, the scope of the papers is (with the exception of the more general paper by Lopreato) much narrower than the title would suggest. The focus is on social psychological issues related to mate selection, reproductive behavior, and child rearing. Of course, these topics are central to sociobiological models which are fundamentally concerned with the transmission of biological traits that confer a reproductive advantage.