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Thursday, August 23, 2007

You Have More Grandmas Than Grandpas

Transylvanian Dutch links to a New York Times blog post claiming that more of our ancestors are women than men.

While it’s true that about half of all the people who ever lived were men, the typical male was much more likely than the typical woman to die without reproducing. Citing recent DNA research, Dr. [Roy F.] Baumeister explained that today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men. Maybe 80 percent of women reproduced, whereas only 40 percent of men did. [Link]
An update to the post gives a good explanation of how this is possible. In short, the difference in reproduction rates combined with pedigree collapse makes it more likely that men will appear multiple times in your family tree with different mates than will women.

Andy E. Wold

Also, husbands usually didn't die during childbirth! ;)

Chris

A husband can die during childbirth if he:

1) Insists she wait until a commercial break.

2) Asks, "Are you absolutely sure it's mine?"

3) Brings a date.

Andy E. Wold

lol or:

4) stands within arms reach when uttering the phrase "Come on, honey, this can't hurt all that bad!"

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