Offspring production among the extended relatives of Samoan men and fa'afafine
VanderLaan, Doug P.
Forrester, Deanna Lee
Petterson, Lanna J.
Vasey, Paul L.
Public Library of Science
Androphilia refers to sexual attraction to adult males, whereas gynephilia refers to sexual attraction to adult females. Male androphilia is an evolutionary paradox. Its development is at least partially influenced by genetic factors, yet male androphiles exhibit lower reproductive output, thus raising the question of how genetic factors underlying its development persist. The sexual antagonism hypothesis posits that the fitness costs associated with genetic factors underlying male androphilia are offset because these same factors lead to elevated reproduction on the part of the female relatives of androphilic males. Western samples drawn from low fertility populations have yielded inconsistent results when testing this hypothesis. Some studies documented elevated reproduction among the matrilineal female kin of androphilic males, whereas others found such effects in the paternal line. Samoa is a high-fertility population in which individuals reproduce closer to their maximum capacities. This study compared the reproductive output of the paternal and maternal line grandmothers, aunts, and uncles of 86 Samoan androphilic males, known locally as fa’afafine, and 86 Samoan gynephilic males. Reproductive output was elevated in the paternal and maternal line grandmothers, but not aunts or uncles, of fa’afafine. These findings are consistent with the sexual antagonism hypothesis and suggest that male androphilia is associated with elevated reproduction among extended relatives in both the maternal and paternal line. Discussion focuses on how this study, in conjunction with the broader literature, informs various models for the evolution of male androphilia via elevated reproduction on the part of female kin.
Sherpa Romeo green journal; open access
Samoan men , Androphilia , Gynephilia , Fa'afafine , Reproductive output , Sexual antagonism
VanderLaan, D.P., Forrester, D.L., Petterson, L.P., & Vasey, P.L. (2012). Offspring production among the extended relatives of Samoan men and fa'afafine. PLoS ONE, 7(4): e36088. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0036088