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Genetic Influence Helps Explain Variation in Human Fertility

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  • Ian Pitchford
    Current Directions in Psychological Science Genetic Influence Helps Explain Variation in Human Fertility: Evidence From Recent Behavioral and Molecular Genetic
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2001
      Current Directions in Psychological Science

      Genetic Influence Helps Explain Variation in Human Fertility: Evidence From
      Recent Behavioral and Molecular Genetic Studies

      Volume 10: Issue 5 Page range: 184 - 188

      Joseph Lee Rodgers: Department of Psychology, University of Oklahoma, Norman,
      Oklahoma
      Kimberly Hughes: Department of Animal Biology, University of Illinois,
      Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
      Hans-Peter Kohler: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock,
      Germany
      Kaare Christensen: Section for Epidemiology, Institute for Public Health, and
      the Danish Center for Demographic Research, University of Southern Denmark,
      Odense, Denmark
      Debby Doughty: Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of
      Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
      David C. Rowe: Division of Family Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson,
      Arizona
      Warren B. Miller: Transnational Family Research Institute, Aptos, California

      Abstract:

      To search for genetic influence on human fertility differentials appears
      inconsistent with past empirical research and prior interpretations of Fisher's
      fundamental theorem of natural selection. We discuss Fisher's theorem and give
      reasons why genetic influences may indeed account for individual differences in
      human fertility. We review recent empirical studies showing genetic influence
      on variance in fertility outcomes and precursors to fertility. Further, some of
      the genetic variance underlying fertility outcomes overlaps with that
      underlying fertility precursors. Findings from different cultures, different
      times, different levels of data, and both behavioral and molecular genetic
      designs lead to the same conclusion: Fertility differentials are genetically
      influenced, and at least part of the influence derives from behavioral
      precursors that are under volitional control, which are themselves genetically
      mediated.

      http://www.blackwellpublishers.co.uk/asp/journal.asp?ref=0963-7214&src=ard&aid=145&iid=5&vid=10
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