Some scientists decided it was worth researching why women (ie female humans) stay alive so long after menopause, or was it, why do women have menopause instead of giving birth until the day they die?
PRLS [post-reproductive lifespan] is of short duration in most mammals, leading to the proposal that PRLS is a consequence of mismatch in somatic versus reproductive senescence.
I can’t believe any women needed to study this. There is an implication that women might as well die once they lose fertility, because they are no longer useful to the species. (Wink Wink! Nudge Nudge! I traded in my 40 year old wife for two 20 year olds! Rimshot!)
I am childless, and society should be glad. I contribute much more as my unique self through my talents – none of which are maternal. I even adopt animals that are mature, not babies.
Boys, boys, boys, did you raise yourself? Women need to be able to stay alive for birth of baby PLUS twenty years. Everyone knows this. A human baby is not a sea turtle, or a fawn, or any animal that can walk or run or even exist in infancy without extreme maternal care. (Not just milk!)
I read a long long time ago that men are more willing to die for a cause. A hypothetical 20 year old male human can have impregnated twenty young women in one summer, and then go off to war and die. Each of those twenty women now have to stay alive for 20 years to raise that human to functioning adulthood. Therefore women are biologically stronger to withstand torture, in that we are hardwired to stay alive to care for those supposed offspring, no matter the harm to ourselves.
Animals that have large litters, or lay many eggs, are probably prey, and also probably have a very high infant mortality rate. Any animal species with: a society, where gestation takes some time; where offspring are born helpless and not completely formed (baby skulls!); and where offspring are usually single-born and spaced throughout the mother’s life – the mother’s survival becomes far more important. Society must be formed to collectively protect and educate that baby (and support and protect the mother as well).
A new study has examined the existence of greying ladies in order to ascertain why they bother sticking around after fulfilling their solitary purpose of reproducing. … The grounds for the research, which was published in Biology Letters, isn’t to further demean the contributions of older women to society (oh no) but to question their ‘evolutionary value’ once their procreative abilities have gone.
If a woman does have children during her fertile years, let’s assume the last one pops out just before menopause (age 45-55). That woman still has to live the next twenty years, in theory. If 80 year old women were popping out babies there would be a very high infant mortality rate for all the later children. Having an extremely dependent baby and dying the next day is not a sound biological system, not to mention the quality of both egg and sperm deteriorates with age.
If human men can find themselves even asking about the necessity of mature women in society and survival, then it’s an interesting observation that the majority of trophy hunters are male as well. Trophy hunting is beyond immoral in that it removes the mature most genetically fit examples of the species. The hunters probably see themselves as alpha males in a similar capacity, but would object to similarly being removed from the gene pool.
In elephants, and in humans, both the elderly matriarch and the elderly bull are required for the offspring to mature in a way consistent with species survival. (Yes, ideally, a mature male can instruct the boys not to stampede, rape, and rampage, at least in elephants.)
The survival of the species is not about how many babies we can produce, but how many we can keep alive until adulthood – quite a feat in some cases! In some animals, adult males of the same species are a genuine threat to the babies, whether or not they are the father.
These guys can’t think past the millions of sperm. Never the quality of the sperm, just the fact that they have it, and see it as the font of life. Men can keep producing sperm, although as men age, their sperm is more likely to have multiple heads or tails, or none at all, and might be swimming in circles.
So an equal study might be why men have long life spans at all? If the best genetic fathers are at their prime young adulthood, is the mature male an asset or even necessary to the species? Might there be multiple reasons for higher order animals to survive past optimal breeding? If you were to research this, wouldn’t you study the males’ purpose too, instead of just females?
Double X chromosomes are stronger than XY – the second X can cancel out the disease carried on the first X. The Y is more delicate, more fragile, less adaptable. More boys are conceived, but more boys are miscarried, ending up with the natural 50/50 split. The ego associated with Y more than makes up for that, and sadly there are no ego abortions.
The fact of the study is hilarious in a gallows sense, and very clear: what’s the point of females even living after their primary function of popping out the seeds is done with?
The study found that grandmother roles, and especially the nurturing of the ADULT MALES, are the reason post menopausal women exist. Believe me, most women do like being grandmothers, but catering to their adult sons can be a pain in the ass.
To even see women as disposable in ANY role, let alone to determine that fertility is the only reason they are not, belies a myopic worldview, one that disregards a lot of obvious facts, and is so reductionist, I might as well ask all men to donate their sperm when they are 20, and then send them out on dangerous jobs to protect society – after all, evolution and biology does not require them anymore.