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Men may have caused menopause due to their preference for younger partners
By choosing younger partners, men may have favored the menopause of older women. This resulted in a computer simulation by Canadian scientists. Accordingly, the preference for younger female companions has meant that older women have had fewer and fewer opportunities to reproduce. According to the researchers, this should have favored the development of mutations that reduce fertility over time.
Male preference for younger women is said to have favored mutations for menopause Both the origin and the development of menopause, i.e. the time of the last menstruation of women, have so far been well-kept secrets. Although scientists have put forward different theories about the development of infertility in older women, no satisfactory explanation for the phenomenon has so far been provided. For example, some scientists believe that older women become infertile to help raise grandchildren. This is intended to strengthen their overall fitness and thus the transfer of their own genetic makeup.
However, Canadian researchers say their results invalidate many of the theories. “For the first time, our model shows that neither the assumption of already existing reduced fertility in older women, nor the advantages of giving up older, infertile women to support young women in bringing up children are necessary to bring about the origin of menopause explain, ”the researchers write.
Computer simulation explains the development of menopause Richard A. Morton, Jonathan R. Stone and Rama S. Singh from the Department of Biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada developed a computer simulation model that they used to link the preference of younger men to men and the menopause of older men Women made. "We developed and used a calculation model and computer simulation to show that the preference for younger women in male mating behavior could lead to the accumulation of mutations that are harmful to female fertility and thus caused menopause," write the researchers in the journal "PLOS Computational Biology". Due to the preference of younger partners, older women had less and less chance of reproductive health. Over time, the mutations that led to infertility developed.
The computer simulation showed that more and more female-specific sterile mutations occurred when the men preferred to choose younger women. As a result, women's fertility decreased and menopause occurred. As the researchers report, the development could have been different: "If women had preferred younger men, men would have become sterile in old age".
Almost all living things except humans die after menopause
Menopause usually occurs in women around the age of 50 when the woman reaches menopause. It marks the time of the last spontaneous menstruation. Due to the change in the hormone balance, the estrogen level, for example, drops significantly during this time.
In the animal kingdom, the onset of infertility means the death of almost all animals. Only humans, whales and captive chimpanzees lived on after their reproductive phase, the researchers report. (ag)
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