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The Influence of Life History Strategies on Regional Variation in Social and Sexual Equality in Italy, Spain and Mexico

Candace Jasmine Black, Mateo Peñaherrera-Aguirre, Cindy Elizabeth Chavarria Minera and Aurelio José Figueredo


Causative processes behind variability in social and sexual equality appear to include resource availability and competition, variables that are also evidenced to drive life history evolution. Here we review social and sexual equality in terms of their relevance as social sequelae of life history strategies, and thus as integral to understanding the sociodemographic differences among human populations. We focus on two multivariate latent constructs: sexual inequality and economic inequality. The theoretical rationale for these constructs is provided, and the indicators for each are introduced. Our results, based on data for subnational regions of Italy, Spain and Mexico, indicate that egalitarianism is predicted by slower life history strategies, with residual direct effects of climatic variables also found to select for slower life histories. We discuss the implications of these findings to an understanding of human social biogeography.

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