The Development Of The Pair Bond

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In our culture the relationship most often discussed when describing human interaction and that which is considered the most “ideal” or “normal” relationship (demonstrated by cultural morality and various forms of media) is that of the male-female couple. This pair-bonding is a phenomenon that exists to some degree in the natural world, but occurs most prominently in humans. The development of the pair-bond is one of the single most important aspects of human evolution, culture, and relationships as we understand them today. This behavior has driven human sociality, reproduction, and cultural development through evolutionary, physiological, and psychological means. By understanding and assessing the history and evolution of pair bonding, the means by which our cultural foundations were established can be discovered. To determine how the pair bond has been established, one must look at the various evolutionary pressures that lead to this type of behavior. As Herbert (2005) explains, the reproductive strategies of organisms are often defined by biologists as “r” or “K” strategies. The former tend to be smaller and live in unstable environments with their reproductive strategy being to produce as many offspring as possible (potentially only once in their lifetime), many of them dying before reaching the reproductive age of their already short life expectancy. The offspring with the highest fitness are the ones that survive to this reproductive stage. In contrast, K-strategists

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