Re: frozen ovaries

Date: Mon Nov 06 2000 - 18:23:27 MST

In a message dated 11/6/00 12:57:32 PM, 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).

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