The concept of cultural transmission is central to much contemporary anthropological theory, since successful human reproduction through social systems is essential for effective survival and for enhancing the adaptiveness of individual humans and local populations.
Roy Ellen is Professor of Anthropology and Human Ecology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. His recent publications include On the Edge of the Banda Zone (University of Hawaii Press, 2003), The Categorical Impulse: Essays on the Anthropology of Classifying Behavior (Berghahn Books, 2006), and Nuaulu Religious Practices: The Frequency and Reproduction of Rituals in a Moluccan Society (KITLV Press, 2012). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of its Council. He was President of the Royal Anthropological Institute between 2007 and 2011. Stephen J. Lycett is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Trained in both biological anthropology and archaeology, his work is multidisciplinary, making extensive use of evolutionary principles and quantitative methodologies. His major research interests focus on integrating the biological, cultural, and technological aspects of evolution in humans, non-human primates, and fossil hominins. Sarah E. Johns is a Lecturer in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Kent, Canterbury. Her recent publications include Red is not a proxy signal for female genitalia in humans (PLoS ONE 2012); Perceived environmental risk as a predictor of teenage motherhood in a British population (Health and Place 2011); and Teenage pregnancy and motherhood: How might evolutionary theory inform policy? (Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 2011).