Ancestral Birth Spacing

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
EditorsTodd Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackelford
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-19650-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-19649-7
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2018


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