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Contrary to findings in studies of many mammalian species, the relationship between resources and reproductive success of women is highly variable across societies. This has led some social scientists to suggest that evolutionary biological models are inappropriate to the study of human social behaviour. This paper proposes that variability in the relationship between resources and reproductive success arises from an inadequate specification of the nature and availability of resources critical to reproduction and a failure to understand the mechanisms whereby resources confer reproductive differentials in different environments. Data are presented from the Kipsigis of Kenya showing how land ownership affects female reproductive success; reasons why the effects of landholding are changing over time are examined.