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Toward an Evo-Devo Theory of Reproductive Strategy, Health, and Longevity


Rickard and associates (2014, this issue) challenge the theoretical claim that early developmental experiences influence sexual development and behavior as a result of the continuity of early- and later-life environments over the course of human history (Belsky, Steinberg, & Draper, 1991). Instead, they contend that sexual development, health, and longevity are regulated by internal (bodily) state reflective of morbidity and mortality risk. By highlighting the importance of internal state-and thereby underscoring the value of focusing on it and on the external environment early in life-these theoreticians continue the tradition of extending a line of human evolutionary-developmental ("evo-devo") theorizing in important ways. In fact, what they make clear is that what was originally conceived as an evolutionary theory of socialization by Belsky et al. (1991) can and should develop into an evolutionary-developmental life-course theory of reproductive strategy, health, and longevity.

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