By Wenda Trevathan Ph.D.
Winner of the 2011 W.W. Howells ebook Award of the yankee Anthropological Association
How has bipedalism impacted human childbirth? Do PMS and postpartum melancholy have particular, perhaps even valuable, services? those are just of the numerous questions that experts in evolutionary drugs search to respond to, and that anthropologist Wenda Trevathan addresses in Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives.
Exploring a variety of women's well-being matters that could be considered via an evolutionary lens, particularly concentrating on replica, Trevathan delves into concerns akin to the clinical results of early puberty in ladies, the impression of migration, tradition switch, and poverty on reproductive future health, and the way fetal progress retardation impacts healthiness in later existence. Hypothesizing that some of the healthiness demanding situations confronted through ladies this present day consequence from a mismatch among how their our bodies have advanced and the modern environments within which glossy people stay, Trevathan sheds gentle at the energy and capability of interpreting the human lifestyles cycle from an evolutionary standpoint, and the way this would increase our realizing of women's wellbeing and fitness and our skill to confront healthiness demanding situations in additional inventive, potent ways.
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Extra info for Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives: How Evolution Has Shaped Women's Health
Chapter 8 continues this discussion and also provides a 22 Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives critique of the medical concept of ‘‘normal’’ infant growth and the appropriateness of sleeping in the same bed with an infant. One of the major themes of this book is that women’s bodies are shaped for enhanced reproductive success, so trying to understand the early termination of reproductive function at menopause is a challenge. This is the topic of Chapter 9 in which I review various theories for why menopause occurs, whether it is unique to humans, and what selective pressures keep women alive and healthy when they are no longer able to reproduce.
Later I will discuss pregnancy extensively, but I have chosen to address teen pregnancy here because of its close association with early onset of menarche and sexual activity. Teen pregnancy is often cited as a major social problem in the United States, with justiﬁcation for trying to do something about it provided by the evidence that health outcomes are compromised by too-early childbearing. In one view of the world, delaying pregnancy until late teens or early twenties, after education and livelihood have been secured and a suitable marriage partner is found, is optimal for child health, development, and cultural achievements.
That is one of the reasons it takes 10–12 years to grow up once a child has been weaned from full nutritional dependence on the mother. 26 Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives As a child is growing, most of the energy available goes into skeletal growth. So if illness is rare and diet is sufﬁcient, ‘‘normal’’ growth will occur. Weight gain occurs only if there is more than enough energy for growing taller. In the past, energy intake was such that there was not a lot left over for putting on fat until skeletal growth had been completed.