Thanks for your questions. Cooperative breeding actually refers to multiple mating and raising children together. This quote below is from a story I wrote about how Full Hips And Large Breasts Don’t Actually Signal Fertility.

There is a growing consensus among anthropologists that we evolved not as monogamous dyads but as cooperative breeders. The culturally strong image of the brave pre-historic hunter bringing home the bacon to his mate who is sitting back at the cave waiting to be provided for is really just a cultural myth. For most of human history, small bands of men and women raised young collectively, and almost certainly mated with multiple partners.

This is a lifestyle with a lot of evolutionary benefits. Multiple mating in primates establishes and continually reinforces social bonds so that there are low levels of conflict, and there is every reason to believe the same was true of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Enhanced cooperation meant all were more likely to look after one another and their young, thus improving each individual’s reproductive fitness (the odds that their offspring would go on to produce offspring).”

The society we currently lived in is firmly entrenched in a dominance hierarchy, even though we’ve made significant strides towards equality in the past 50 years. The easiest way for me to further speak to your questions is to link you these two stories.

This is one of my favorite topics to discuss so let me know your thoughts and if you have any questions.

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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