Humans are one of the 5% of mammals where child survival depends on collaborative bi-parental care.

Throughout human evolution, mothers and female kin provided all the essential care and nutrition in a cooperative reproductive system, until a child could survive independently; while fathers also invest in their children, their contributions to child rearing are remarkably flexible across cultures. Variation in paternal investment reflects a paradoxical role of masculinity whereby masculine men appear to chosen as reproductive partners but are less investing as fathers.

In this seminar, Dr Dixson will discuss his cross-cultural, behavioural and experimental research on human partner preferences and how this led him to his current research program, which aims to understand the extent to which behavioral masculinity varies with men's fathering.

Dr Dixson is excited to present this research to experts at ISSR and looks forward to future research relationships on the social, ecological and economic factors that underpin variation among men in their parental investment and gender roles in the family.

Dr Barnaby Dixson is a human behavioural ecologist and is particularly interested in the evolution of human mate choice and partner preferences. His research involves a combination of cross-cultural data collection in small-scale societies, behavioral research in the lab and demographic and phylogenetic analyses. His current research aims to understand how economic and environmental factors are associated with men’s fatherhood in rural communities in Vanuatu.


Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR)
Long Pocket Precinct | 80 Meiers Rd, Indooroopilly Q, 4068
Seminar Room