By Wenda Trevathan Ph.D.
Winner of the 2011 W.W. Howells ebook Award of the yank Anthropological Association
How has bipedalism impacted human childbirth? Do PMS and postpartum melancholy have particular, even perhaps necessary, features? those are just of the numerous questions that experts in evolutionary medication search to respond to, and that anthropologist Wenda Trevathan addresses in Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives.
Exploring a variety of women's healthiness concerns that could be seen via an evolutionary lens, particularly targeting copy, Trevathan delves into concerns reminiscent of the clinical outcomes of early puberty in ladies, the impression of migration, tradition swap, and poverty on reproductive health and wellbeing, and the way fetal progress retardation impacts well-being in later lifestyles. Hypothesizing that some of the health and wellbeing demanding situations confronted by way of girls this present day end result from a mismatch among how their our bodies have advanced and the modern environments within which sleek people stay, Trevathan sheds mild at the energy and power of reading the human lifestyles cycle from an evolutionary viewpoint, and the way this might enhance our figuring out of women's wellbeing and fitness and our skill to confront healthiness demanding situations in additional inventive, potent ways.
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Additional info for Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives: How Evolution Has Shaped Women's Health
24 In recent years there has been a lot of interest in the impact of social, psychological, and familial circumstances on timing of menarche. The mammalian literature is replete with evidence that exposure to adult females can delay puberty and exposure to adult males can accelerate it. 25 One view of the effects of pheromones is that changing social circumstances that lead to more women working outside the home can explain the downward trend in age of menarche in the past few decades. 27 They suggest that girls who perceive males as unreliable for child rearing will embark on a reproductive strategy that leads to early sexual activity and childbearing, whereas girls who perceive fathers as present and reliable will delay childbearing until they secure an equivalently reliable mate.
Recall that when environments are stable, producing low numbers of offspring with high survival rates (going for quality) is adaptive, but when environments are unstable, the best option would be to go for quantity and hope some survive. Households with father absence, they Are We Grown Up Yet? 29 They highlight stress as the most likely mechanism. In evaluating this proposal, it is important to consider the decade in which it was made, a time when divorce rates were rising and concern about single mothers raising children was great.
2 The main thing that is growing during the adolescent growth spurt is the skeleton, especially the bones of the legs and arms. The pelvis is also undergoing its ﬁnal transformation that results in marked differences between the sexes. In fact, up until puberty, it is extremely difﬁcult to tell the difference between male and female skeletons in an osteological or forensic sample. But after growth is complete, the pelvic bones are probably the very best for distinguishing the sexes. Of course these differences relate to the different ‘‘jobs’’ that the pelvic girdle does, especially in serving as the passage for childbirth in women, as will be discussed extensively in Chapter 5.