Navigation Links
Marriage patterns drive fertility decline
Date:7/21/2010

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have applied an evolutionary 'use it or lose it' principle when studying past marriage patterns, to show that marriage can influence the evolution of age-patterns of fertility.

Researchers Duncan Gillespie, Dr Virpi Lummaa and Dr Andrew Russell, from the University's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, studied Finnish church records from the 18th and 19th centuries, a time during which almost everyone married and divorce was forbidden, to trace the survival and marriage histories of 1,591 women.

They found that women aged 30-35 were the most likely to be married. Those that married wealthy husbands were married at a younger age but to relatively older men, thereby gaining the family size-benefits of wealth but also an increased risk of widowhood. This high chance of widowhood, coupled with low re-marriage prospects for older widows with children, limited the percentage of women in the population with the opportunity to reproduce at older ages.

In today's society however, women do not start childbearing until an older age as marriage is often delayed, and casual or short-term relationships and divorce are more common. As a result, the natural selection maintaining young-age fertility might weaken and the relative strength of natural selection on old-age fertility could increase, something that could potentially lead to improvements in old-age fertility over many generations.

Duncan Gillespie from the University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: "In today's society, family-building appears to be increasingly postponed to older ages, when relatively few women in our evolutionary past would have had the opportunity to reproduce. As a result, this could lead to future evolutionary improvements in old-age female fertility.

"Childbearing within a relationship is still the norm in modern society, but at ages where fewer women have the chance to reproduce, we should expect the evolution of lower fertility."


'/>"/>

Contact: Shemina Davis
shemina.davis@sheffield.ac.uk
44-114-222-5339
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study: Darwin was right to worry that marriage to his cousin affected his offspring
2. UCLA stem cell researchers uncover previously unknown patterns in DNA methylation
3. Concealed patterns beneath lifes variety
4. Climate change and mountain building led to mammal diversity patterns
5. Study provides new insights into the implications of autism onset patterns
6. Patterns of growth changing in Inuit preschoolers
7. Visualization of geographic patterns may predict spread of disease
8. Genetic patterns rise from huge yeast samples
9. Are holiday and weekend eating patterns affecting obesity rates?
10. Geographic profiling applied to track hunting patterns of white sharks in South Africa
11. Researchers gain genome-wide insights into patterns of the worlds human population structures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marriage patterns drive fertility decline
(Date:3/22/2017)... LIVERMORE, Calif. , March 21, 2017 ... recognition analytics company serving law enforcement agencies, announced today ... Sheridan as director of public safety business development. ... of diversified law enforcement experience, including a focus on ... Vigilant. In his most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 ... the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the University ... , was invited to deliver the latest data to ... globally recognised event brings together leaders at the forefront ... developments in lung imaging. "The quality ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the information you ... activities since 2010. ... Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p03605615-summary/view-report.html ... an in-depth insight into the partnering activity of one of ... company reports are prepared upon purchase to ensure inclusion of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... Lajollacooks4u is proud to announce it has become the premiere team-building cooking event company in ... the world, such as Illumina, HP and Qualcomm, and is ranked #1 in its category ... due to its new team building format, a way for teams to not only interact ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Mass. , March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... partner to global in vitro diagnostics manufacturers ... of the industry,s first multiplexed Inherited ... disease testing by next-generation sequencing (NGS). The ... were developed with input from industry experts ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 Women of Innovation® finalist. ... Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes women accomplished in science, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- According to a report by Transparency Market Research ... to the presence of a large pool of participants; however, only ... and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each other in this market. With Proliant ... 76% of this market in 2016.  ... As of now, a large number of vendors ...
Breaking Biology Technology: