The evolutionary psychology of mate selection in Morocco : A multivariate analysis.

Research paper by A A Walter

Indexed on: 01 Jun '97Published on: 01 Jun '97Published in: Human Nature


Patterns of mate preference in Morocco are investigated in order to test whether they support hypotheses advanced by David Buss and other evolutionary psychologists. Because of the custom of cousin marriage in Morocco, a multivariate model that included cosocialization data was developed for the purpose of testing the Westermarck hypothesis of inbreeding avoidance. Hence, two previously separate domains of research are unified in one design that permits the further exploration of questions pertaining to the domain specificity of psychological mechanisms. Multiple independent mate choice predictors were identified using logistic regression analysis. Results support the Westermarck hypothesis of inbreeding avoidance. Sleeping in the same room during childhood was found in both sexes to produce an aversion to marriage. Other evidence suggests that aversion to inbreeding extends further among females than males in that females but not males show an aversion to marriage to related individuals with whom they had daily social contact in early childhood. The evolutionary prediction that females differ from males concerning resource holding capacity was also supported. Females showed a preference for males whom they judged to have higher social status than theirs, while this criterion was unimportant for males. The predicted sex difference in preferred age of marriage partner was also supported. Contrary to previous findings, the predicted difference between the sexes with regard to physical attractiveness was not supported.