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Lookup NU author(s): Thomas Pollet,
Professor Daniel Nettle
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There is considerable debate as to whether human females bias the sex ratio of their offspring as a function of their own condition. We apply the Trivers-Willard prediction-that mothers in poor condition will overproduce daughters-to a novel measure of condition, namely wife rank within a polygynous marriage. Using a large-scale sample of over 95 000 Rwandan mothers, we show that lower-ranking polygynous wives do indeed have significantly more daughters than higher-ranking polygynous wives and monogamously married women. This effect remains when controlling for potential confounds such as maternal age. We discuss these results in reference to previous work on sex-ratio adjustment in humans.
Author(s): Pollet TV, Fawcett TW, Buunk AP, Nettle D
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Biology Letters
ISSN (print): 1744-9561
ISSN (electronic): 1744-957X
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
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