Quantitative Biology


Son Birth and Female Lifespan Are Positively Related in Humans

Authors: Madhukar Shivajirao Dama

Sexual dimorphism of human body size starts as early as first trimester of fetal development [1]. Compared to daughters, sons develop faster [2] and weigh 2-3% higher at birth [3]. This dimorphism is believed to create an investment dimorphism for mothers, such that, women bearing sons tend to incur higher physiological investment costs. Further, analysis of human populations has shown that mothers bearing more sons require longer time to reproduce again [4]. These observations lead to the prediction that mothers bearing more sons may need to trade the physiological investments with lifespan [5].

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[v1] 2014-03-13 00:43:56

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