|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science|
|Editors||Todd Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Oct 2018|
Variation in birth spacing can have substantial effects on lifetime reproductive success: spacing births too close together leads to maternal depletion and lowered infant survival, whereas spacing births too far apart results in the production of fewer offspring over the life-course than is optimal for maximizing reproductive success. In this entry, ancestral primate birth spacing patterns are discussed, and how humans compare with nonhuman primates. This is followed by discussion of some of the evidence that birth spacing patterns have been shaped by evolution and addresses whether women in modern industrialized nations should adhere to ancestral birth spacing patterns.