Why do some societies enforce monogamous marriage, while the majority allow polygyny? Why does inheritance flow from a man to his wife's children in some cases, and from a man to his sister's sons in others? And is this variation linked to variation in the degree of social complexity?
Biologists and social scientists rely on comparison to other species, and across human societies, to make sense of our species' social behavior. In this talk, evolutionary anthropologist Laura Fortunato discusses the opportunities and challenges that arise in doing so, drawing on her work on variation in human family systems. Laura Fortunato is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. Her research aims to understand the evolution of human behavior, working at the interface of biology and anthropology.
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SFI's 2019 Community Lecture Series is supported by The Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Santa Fe Reporter.