About this Research Topic
Pair-bonds are often described as the mating unit for the purpose of reproduction and bi-parental care of offspring. In humans, this extends beyond mating to companionship and care; and life-long partnerships that may be monogamous. In humans and other monogamous animals, pair-bonds are characterized by partner preference (over a stranger), proximity-seeking, bi-parental care of offspring, pair-living, aggression towards strangers, and coordinated behaviors between the couple. In recent decades some debate has emerged regarding the definition of a pair-bond, as some species may exhibit co-habitation and partner preference, but may mate outside of the pair-bond. As such, pair-bonds may engage in various strategies, affecting almost every facet of life and have important implications for development, physical and mental health, reproduction, and longevity. Moreover, pair-bonds typically display specific behaviors during different phases from formation (attraction and mating) to more established pair-bonds which display partner preference and attachment (established pair-bonds). We welcome submissions from all these various areas paralleling the flexibility and development of the pair-bonding and mating systems, including casual/short-term relationships, consensual non-monogamy (CNM), LGBTQIA+ populations, speed-dating, and social media use.
In this Research Topic we will explore current trends in the science of pair-bonding including both human and non-human studies to answer questions such as,
1) What are the crucial aspects of pair-bonding, and which aspects are more flexible or variable?
2) To what extent is the pair-bond unique from other types of close relationships, and beyond reproduction what adaptive functions do they serve?
3) Are current trends in relationship initiation, such as on-line dating useful or detrimental to the evolution of pair-bonding?
Pair-bonding studies utilize a wide range of methodologies including self-report, biological assessments (e.g., hormones, neuroimaging, heart rate variability), laboratory experiments, observational field studies, and the use of big data (e.g., from online dating services). As such, we are happy to receive submissions from all these fields to adequately represent the evolving landscape of human strategies for mating.
This Research Topic seeks to provide a collection of studies that present data on these current trends in the science of pair-bonding and present a vision for future directions on this topic.
Keywords: pair-bonding, romantic love, dating, close relationships, mating
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.