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How Well Does Paternity Confidence Match Actual Paternity?: Evidence from Worldwide Nonpaternity Rates

KermytG. Anderson
Current Anthropology
Vol. 47, No. 3 (June 2006), pp. 513-520
DOI: 10.1086/504167
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/504167
Page Count: 8
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How Well Does Paternity Confidence Match Actual Paternity?
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Abstract

Evolutionary theory predicts that males will provide less parental investment for putative offspring who are unlikely to be their actual offspring. Crossculturally, paternity confidence (a mans assessment of the likelihood that he is the father of a putative child) is positively associated with mens involvement with children and with investment or inheritance from paternal kin. A survey of 67 studies reporting nonpaternity suggests that for men with high paternity confidence rates of nonpaternity are(excluding studies of unknown methodology) typically 1.9%, substantially less than the typical rates of 10% or higher cited by many researchers. Further crosscultural investigation of the relationship between paternity and paternity confidence is warranted.

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