Religious celibacy brings inclusive fitness benefits

Alberto J. C. Micheletti, Erhao Ge, Liqiong Zhou, Yuan Chen, Hanzhi Zhang, Juan Du & Ruth Mace
The influence of inclusive fitness interests on the evolution of human institutions remains unclear. Religious celibacy constitutes an especially puzzling institution, often deemed maladaptive. Here, we present sociodemographic data from an agropastoralist Buddhist population in western China, where parents sometimes sent a son to the monastery. We find that men with a monk brother father more children, and grandparents with a monk son have more grandchildren, suggesting that the practice is adaptive. We develop a...
1 citation reported since publication in 2022.
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