In a message dated 11/6/00 12:57:32 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
>One theory of evolution of menopause in humans is that a woman would be
>able to pass down more of her genes if she remained alive during a period
>of time after her reproductive functions stopped. This would allow her
>to help her daughters and sons take care of their children.
Actually, since human children take so long to grow up, there's a big benefit
to hanging around post-reproductively just to take care of her *own*
children. The "grandmother effect" has been tested in baboons and
found not to be the case - but then nobody was really expecting it in
baboons anyway :-/ Certainly in bonobos adult post-reproductive
females raise the social status of their children and you'd expect that
to raise the number of grandchildren (although I'm unaware of anybody
actually demonstrating this).
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:20 MDT