Sex-ratio biasing towards daughters among lower-ranking co-wives in Rwanda

Pollet, Thomas, Fawcett, Tim, Buunk, Abraham and Nettle, Daniel (2009) Sex-ratio biasing towards daughters among lower-ranking co-wives in Rwanda. Biology Letters, 5 (6). pp. 765-768. ISSN 1744-9561

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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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 10:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 16:29

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