Re: [evol-psych] Article: Fertile Times for May-December Couples
- funny.... I doubt nature cares about Mr. Douglass and whether he
sees his kids grow up! And his wife surely didn't need his money...
they seem to really like each other though, which is different. Then
again they are both good actors in public so who knows.
And true, knowing many families where there were lots of kids, the
girls anyway, particularly the eldest, have had their fill of
childrearing by the time they are 12. Mother's little helpers. I
know quite a few who left home as soon as they could, got jobs and
an apartment and wallowed in the fact that they finally had their
OWN ROOM and didn't have to care for anyone, wait on a bathroom line
eat all the food they liked ASAP whether hungry or not, before
someone else got the goodies etc..
Their younger brothers and sisters (and I have a bunch of friends
who had up to 11 kids in the family, one in a two bedroom apartment)
went on to have a gaggle of kids themselves, so these friends became
the eccentric spinster aunties that the nieces and nephews adored
and got endlessly spoiled by. They like not being married, they like
having the fun of all the kids with none of the work, and being in
may ways more loved than the parents by them. Never mind having some
spending money, the huge families often had little or nothing left
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Julienne
> At 01:29 AM 9/2/2007 +0000, Robert Karl Stonjek wrote:
> >Fertility in their future.
> >This 2003 wedding was an evolutionary coup for the groom, who is
> >older than the bride. They now have a 2-year-old, with another onthe way.
> >Credit: John Bohannonas mates,
> >Fertile Times for May-December Couples
> >By John Bohannon
> >ScienceNOW Daily News
> >30 August 2007
> >Mrs. Robinson notwithstanding, men tend to prefer younger women
> >and women aim for older men. There's an evolutionary reason forthis: It
> >gives both parties a reproductive boost.paid off,
> >Among these Swedes, choosing a younger wife or an older husband
> >at least in the evolutionary sense. Couples in which the husbandwas about
> >5 years older produced approximately 5% more children than same-age
> >couples, Fieder and Huber report online this week in BiologyLetters. That
> >may not sound like much for a family unit, but it representsa "huge"
> >effect on the evolutionary time scale, says Fieder. (He adds thathe a nd
> >Huber are both 42 and have only one child--which at their ageranks them
> >as evolutionary losers.)partner,
> Who is this God called "Evolution" who wants to
> control our lives? As Iris is wont to say quite
> often, Nature/Evolution may not have our best
> interests at heart, and, indeed, may not give a
> fig, er, leaf.
> You see, this method of judgement would suggest
> that the couple who have 10 children are
> Evolution/Nature/the Pope's darlings. But talk to their
> children, and we would see another story. Most children
> in very large families seem not to do as well in life.
> They are deprived of the amount of individual attention
> they need from the parents, and often of educational
> and even nutritional advantages as well. I have also
> seen, in my practice, that many have had too much of
> "family", and don't want to have families of their own -
> having often been over-involved in responsibility
> for having to help bring up younger siblings.
> >The data also reveal that when men divorced and married a new
> >they nearly always chose a younger woman and women, an older man.few years
> Maybe in his study, but not in my life, and, I
> ween, not in so many women's lives these days.
> The age span in the men I have been involved with since
> my divorce has been over 50 years - and all except one were
> younger. The only one older was a wonderful Frenchman,
> but the French tend to be ageless. :)
> >But the difference is that the new husbands tended to be only a
> >older than the women, whereas the men's newly acquired wivestended to be
> >of reproductive age, and hence the age gap grew ever larger thelater the
> >men remarried.choice of mate
> >The study shows that there is a "fitness basis" to people's
> >age, says Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist at the University ofLiverpool,
> >U.K. It also reveals a "clash of interest between the two sexes,"he says,
> >because women have a smaller window of reproductive opportunity.Once
> >beyond that window, they are out of the game, whereas older mencan
> >continue to mate with ever-younger women.
> I see no mention at all in the above piece about the rate of
> decline of male fertility and sperm motility with age, not
> to mention of sexual functioning.
> I think a lot of these young women don't know what they
> are getting into, or maybe there's a trade off they're
> willing to make. The article is, after all, only speaking
> about a 5 year age differential. However, Is "Evolution"
> happy that, for instance, Michael Douglas's latest
> children may well not get to bring home their college
> diplomas, or grandchildren, to GrandPops? These are
> serious issues for family cohesiveness and connections.
- I consider this to be further evidence in favor of something like Harvard anthroplogist Marlowe's argument/paper about the "grandfather hypothesis" (as opposed to the grandmother hypothesis) as an explanation for the evolution of extreme longevity in humans (as contrasted with chimpanzees and gorillas). i.e. Female mammals in all species enjoy a longevity edge (due to the traditional antagonistic pleiotropy theoretical perspective as well as others too-involved so I'll skip here).. and in humans the "strong" selection on longer male longevity as the evidence presented in the article is suggestive of "pulled" up female longevity even to the point where menopause is fairly common in humans. (Regarding the grandmother hypothesis- there has been a lot of work on it by some very good scientists, so in general people should not be quick to discard it, but the point of this posting is that there does exist a possibly strong alternative.)Richard Harper
On 9/1/07, Robert Karl Stonjek <stonjek@...> wrote:
Fertility in their future.
This 2003 wedding was an evolutionary coup for the groom, who is 5 years older than the bride. They now have a 2-year-old, with another on the way.
Credit: John Bohannon
Fertile Times for May-December Couples
By John BohannonMrs. Robinson notwithstanding, men tend to prefer younger women as mates, and women aim for older men. There's an evolutionary reason for this: It gives both parties a reproductive boost.
ScienceNOW Daily News
30 August 2007
Men's preference for younger women exists across cultures, and this finding has been replicated by decades of survey data. Martin Fieder and Susanne Huber, a married pair of anthropologists at the University of Vienna, Austria, wondered if there might be an evolutionary explanation for this inclination.
To learn more, the couple delved into a massive demographic database of Swedish baby boomers born between 1945 and 1955. They focused on 10,000 men and women who had only married once. Then they compared the age differences of those couples with the number of children they had together. If the older man-younger woman couples produced more offspring, they reasoned, then genes that make women find older men sexy--and vice versa--may have been the inevitable result of natural selection.
Among these Swedes, choosing a younger wife or an older husband paid off, at least in the evolutionary sense. Couples in which the husband was about 5 years older produced approximately 5% more children than same-age couples, Fieder and Huber report online this week in Biology Letters. That may not sound like much for a family unit, but it represents a "huge" effect on the evolutionary time scale, says Fieder. (He adds that he and Huber are both 42 and have only one child--which at their age ranks them as evolutionary losers.)
The data also reveal that when men divorced and married a new partner, they nearly always chose a younger woman and women, an older man. But the difference is that the new husbands tended to be only a few years older than the women, whereas the men's newly acquired wives tended to be of reproductive age, and hence the age gap grew ever larger the later the men remarried.
The study shows that there is a "fitness basis" to people's choice of mate age, says Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist at the University of Liverpool, U.K. It also reveals a "clash of interest between the two sexes," he says, because women have a smaller window of reproductive opportunity. Once beyond that window, they are out of the game, whereas older men can continue to mate with ever-younger women.
Robert Karl Stonjek