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Am J Hum Genet. 1981 May;33(3):407-17.

Social selection in human populations. I. Modification of the fitness of offspring by an affected parent.


The concept of social selection for deleterious genes has been introduced by considering two alleles at one locus. A social selection model is constructed by assuming that the fitness of an individual is determined by his or her own as well as the parental phenotypes. It is shown that the equilibrium gene frequency depends on the loss of fitness of an individual due to the trait (gamma), due to affected parents (beta), and the probability that the heterozygote develops the trait (h). With mutational changes from the wild-type allele to the deleterious gene at a rate of alpha per generation, the equilibrium frequency of deleterious genes is approximately alpha/hs for 0 less than h less than or equal to 1 and square root alpha/s for h = 0, where s = gamma + beta(1 -- gamma)/2. Implications of the social selection model have been discussed for several diseases in man.

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