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Artificial Life

Fall 2003, Vol. 9, No. 4, Pages 403-417
(doi: 10.1162/106454603322694843)
© 2003 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Emergent Patterns of Mate Choice in Human Populations
Article PDF (236 KB)

We present a model of human mate choice that shows how realistic population-level patterns of assortative mating can self-organize and emerge from the behavior of individuals using simple mate search rules. In particular, we model plausible psychological mechanisms for mate search and choice in a realistic social ecology. Through individual interactions, patterns emerge that match those observed in typical human societies, particularly with regard to correlated quality levels within couples, distributions of the ages at which couples mate, and effects of skewed sex ratios on these mating age distributions.