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Graduate Defense: Annemarie Hasnain

August 5 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am MDT

Thesis Information

Title: Arranged Marriage, Partner Traits and Parental Investment: Examining the Reproductive Compensation Hypothesis in Humans

Program: Master of Arts in Anthropology

Advisor: Dr. John Ziker, Anthropology, Co-Chair, and Dr. Kristin Snopkowski, Anthropology, Co-Chair

Committee Members: Dr. Kathryn Demps, Anthropology


Both sexes choose mates based on qualities that will enhance offspring viability and quality. In some cases individuals are forced to reproduce with less desirable mates which has been shown to result in lower quality offspring. The Reproductive Compensation Hypothesis (RCH) predicts that parents who mate under constraint will increase their reproductive effort and investment in offspring to compensate for lowered offspring viability. Evidence for the RCH has been found in several animal species; however it has not been examined in humans. One possible type of mate choice constraint in humans is that of arranged marriage in which parents or others choose mates for individuals. In order to test the RCH, I examine whether there are differences in both partner traits between women in arranged marriages and those in self-choice marriages, and differences in parental investment between women in arranged and self-choice marriages using data from the Indonesian Family Life Survey. Except for husband’s education level, no differences were found in mate characteristics between the husbands of women in self-choice marriages and those in arranged marriages. Marriage type did not significantly influence parental investment. It is possible arranged marriage is not a true constraint on mate choice or that parental investment measures used in this study need to be more refined.