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Data from: Variation in male reproductive longevity across traditional societies


Vinicius, Lucio; Mace, Ruth; Migliano, Andrea B.; Migliano, Andrea (2015), Data from: Variation in male reproductive longevity across traditional societies, Dryad, Dataset,


Most accounts of human life history propose that women have short reproductive spans relative to their adult lifespans, while men not only remain fertile but carry on reproducing until late life. Here we argue that studies have overlooked evidence for variation in male reproductive ageing across human populations. We apply a Bayesian approach to census data from Agta hunter-gatherers and Gambian farmers to show that long post-reproductive lifespans characterise not only women but also males in some traditional human populations. We calculate three indices of reproductive ageing in men (oldest age at reproduction, male late-life reproduction, and post-reproductive representation) and identify a continuum of male reproductive longevity across eight traditional societies ranging from !Kung, Hadza and Agta hunter-gatherers exhibiting low levels of polygyny, early age at last reproduction and long post-reproductive lifespans, to male Gambian agriculturalists and Turkana pastoralists showing higher levels of polygyny, late-life reproduction and shorter post-reproductive lifespans. We conclude that the uniquely human detachment between rates of somatic senescence and reproductive decline, and the existence of post-reproductive lifespans, are features of both male and female life histories, and therefore not exclusive consequences of menopause.

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