Human longevity: The grandmother effect

@article{Hawkes2004HumanLT,
  title={Human longevity: The grandmother effect},
  author={Kristen Hawkes},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2004},
  volume={428},
  pages={128-129}
}
  • K. Hawkes
  • Published 11 March 2004
  • Medicine
  • Nature
Why do women live long past the age of child-bearing? Contrary to common wisdom, this phenomenon is not new, and is not due to support for the elderly. Rather, grannies have a lot to offer their grandchildren. 

The Grandmother Effect and the Uniqueness of the Human Aging Phenotype

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Commentary : Life historical perspectives on human reproductive aging

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Widowhood, family size, and post-reproductive Mortality: a comparative Analysis of three populations in Nineteenth-Century Europe

It is hypothesized that the death of a spouse is a stressful event with long-term consequences for health, especially for women with small children, and raising children under adverse circumstances can have long-lasting, harmful effects on a mother’s health.

The evolution of the human menopause

Female lifespan is increasing in most countries worldwide, principally due to decreased infection and maternal mortality, and chronic diseases that affect millions of women are cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cancer, and dementia.

Life History Evolution: What Does a Menopausal Killer Whale Do?

Testing evolutionary theories of menopause

A study based on a remarkably complete dataset from The Gambia that provides quantitative estimates for key parameters for the theoretical model, which were then used to assess the actual effects on fitness and provide important support for the hypothesized evolutionary significance of grandmothers.

Women’s Health in the Post-menopausal Age

An evolutionary analysis of trends provides a valuable perspective on how the health consequences of an extended post-reproductive life span for modern women are affected by changes in culture that have outpaced biological evolution.

Reevaluating the grandmother hypothesis.

  • Aja Watkins
  • Psychology
    History and philosophy of the life sciences
  • 2021
A formal model is developed and used to respond to a common objection to the grandmother hypothesis: that human fathers are better suited to be allomothers due to their physical strength and a high incentive to invest in their own children.

Menopause: why does fertility end before life?

How menopause and prolonged lifespan might be explained by evolutionary theory is discussed, and some angles for future research are highlighted.

Menopause – natural selection or modern disease?

  • N. PanayA. Fenton
  • Education
    Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society
  • 2015
In order to unravel the ‘ menopause conundrum ’ , it is necessary to explore the causes, consequences and attitudes towardsMenopause from anthropological, evolutionary, historical and modern perspectives.
...

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