Fertility Theory: Theory of Life History Evolution


Variation in fertility patterns in relation to environmental factors and mortality schedules can be understood using evolutionary life history theory. In addition to explaining differences within and between human populations, LHT allows us to make direct comparisons with other species. Here we discuss LHT, the concept of trade-offs, and the importance of this theory as applied to humans. We end by discussing the ways in which LHT potentially explains patterns of low fertility in contemporary industrialized society.

In International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition