Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Promiscuity

1. indiscriminate sexual intercourse.

Cf. primitive promiscuity.

2. mating system in which sexual partners only form a bond during copulation, then separate, with the females mating with other males and the males attempting to mate with other females; found in a number of primate species. Characteristics of promiscuous societies include no paternal care and marked sexual dimorphism. This later feature has led some to suggest that the highly sexually dimorphic Australopithecus afarensis was promiscuous.

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