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Citation: Lippold, Sebastian, et al. "Human paternal and maternal demographic histories: 4 insights from high-resolution Y chromosome and mtDNA sequences 5." Methods 1 (2014): 2.

Citation: Lippold, Sebastian, et al. “Human paternal and maternal demographic histories: 4 insights from high-resolution Y chromosome and mtDNA sequences 5.” Methods 1 (2014): 2.

Alexander Kim has already responded in depth to a new paper in Investigative Genetics, Human paternal and maternal demographic histories: insights from high-resolution Y chromosome and mtDNA sequences:

Results
We identified 2,228 SNPs in the NRY sequences and 2,163 SNPs in the mtDNA sequences. Our results confirm the controversial assertion that genetic differences between human populations on a global scale are bigger for the NRY than for mtDNA, although the differences are not as large as previously suggested. More importantly, we find substantial regional variation in patterns of mtDNA versus NRY variation. Model-based simulations indicate very small ancestral effective population sizes (<100) for the out-of-Africa migration as well as for many human populations. We also find that the ratio of female effective population size to male effective population size (Nf/Nm) has been greater than one throughout the history of modern humans, and has recently increased due to faster growth in Nf than Nm.

Conclusions
The NRY and mtDNA sequences provide new insights into the paternal and maternal histories of human populations, and the methods we introduce here should be widely applicable for further such studies.

Comparing male and female demographic histories can be a mug’s game. But if one is appropriately cautious some insight can be gained, and in this paper the authors are appropriately cautious. It isn’t surprising that female effective population sizes are somewhat larger over the long term and across deep history than male ones for our lineage. We’re a mildly sexually dimorphic species, suggestive of possible mild polygyny at best, on average. In other words, males compete, but not that much. Far more interesting to me is what Alexander Kim keys in on:

Among the most interesting inferences is Holocene crash in male Ne, with no clear reflection on the mitochondrial side of things, everywhere but Oceania and America — most dramatically in the Middle East/North Africa:

Not from the Pleistocene

Not from the Pleistocene

As a speculative matter this might reflect the rise of “super-male” lineages that arose with agriculture and mass society. In other words, extreme levels of polygyny are a novel cultural evolution, which could only emerge with the level of stratification and power accumulation in patrilineages enabled by agricultural, or agro-pastoral, societies. Hyper-polgyny might also be correlated with the extreme mate guarding and sexual jealousy which is the norm among many Eurasian societies. The implication here is that many of the “regressive” social practices we associate with “traditional” Eurasian societies are simply cultural retrofits to adapt to new social circumstances enabled by mass society. Liberal individualism as an ethos may not be a novel innovation, as much as the emergence of long submerged instincts which evolved when collective institutions and interests were far weaker as forces in our day to day decision making.

 
• Category: Science • Tags: Demography 
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  1. btw, a couple years ago I coined a term for this, because I found it to be such a useful concept (and one that I am quite certain I became aware of from reading gnxp over the years, although I don’t have specific posts in mind), viz “mesotypal”. The implication here is that many of the “regressive” social practices we associate with “traditional” Eurasian societies are mesotypal.

    (one or two my friends might even know what I mean when I say mesotypal.)

  2. The female population in most of western countries is higher than the male population. In Russia, there are 11 million surplus women (fertility rate at 1.3%), in the US (4 million, fertility rate at 1.3%)), Britain (1.1 million, fertility rate at less than 2%), Germany (1.6 million, fertility rate at 1.4%), France (1.7 million, fertility rate at 2%), Canada (320,000, fertility rate at 1.5%) and so on. On top of that add over 30 million non-child-bearing gay and lesbian population in Europe, the US and Canada.

    Contrary to that, female population in majority of 57 Muslim states is less than the male population.

    Interestingly, the first western political leader to campaign for polygamy was no other than Duma Deputy Speaker and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He actively crusaded for the legalization of polygamy in Russia, but failed. He honestly believed that with eleven million surplus women and the deepening demographic crisis in Russia, polygamy would go a long way to fight the demographic decline.

    Olga Gumanova’s article entitled Four wives always better than one?, published on Russian website, Pravda.Ru on April 13, 2011 – makes an interesting reading.

    “Regardless of age, the first wife has the title of “senior” and the fourth – the “younger”. Other wives are referred to in order. According to the tradition, if the entire family lives together, the responsibility of the younger wife is the education of all children, regardless of who their biological mother is. The second and third wives have to take care of the household, and the eldest of all directs and assigns duties.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/04/24/polygamy-and-wests-demographic-decline/

    • Replies: @Pseudonymic Handle
    The main driver of gender unbalance is that women live longer, so the 11 million supernumerary russian women are widowed babushkas whose husbands died from vodka, cigarettes and disregard for safety rather than nubile blondes looking to reproduce.
    Sex ratio by age in Russia from wiki:
    at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15–64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2009)
  3. @Rehmat
    The female population in most of western countries is higher than the male population. In Russia, there are 11 million surplus women (fertility rate at 1.3%), in the US (4 million, fertility rate at 1.3%)), Britain (1.1 million, fertility rate at less than 2%), Germany (1.6 million, fertility rate at 1.4%), France (1.7 million, fertility rate at 2%), Canada (320,000, fertility rate at 1.5%) and so on. On top of that add over 30 million non-child-bearing gay and lesbian population in Europe, the US and Canada.

    Contrary to that, female population in majority of 57 Muslim states is less than the male population.

    Interestingly, the first western political leader to campaign for polygamy was no other than Duma Deputy Speaker and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky. He actively crusaded for the legalization of polygamy in Russia, but failed. He honestly believed that with eleven million surplus women and the deepening demographic crisis in Russia, polygamy would go a long way to fight the demographic decline.

    Olga Gumanova’s article entitled Four wives always better than one?, published on Russian website, Pravda.Ru on April 13, 2011 – makes an interesting reading.

    “Regardless of age, the first wife has the title of “senior” and the fourth – the “younger”. Other wives are referred to in order. According to the tradition, if the entire family lives together, the responsibility of the younger wife is the education of all children, regardless of who their biological mother is. The second and third wives have to take care of the household, and the eldest of all directs and assigns duties.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/04/24/polygamy-and-wests-demographic-decline/

    The main driver of gender unbalance is that women live longer, so the 11 million supernumerary russian women are widowed babushkas whose husbands died from vodka, cigarettes and disregard for safety rather than nubile blondes looking to reproduce.
    Sex ratio by age in Russia from wiki:
    at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15–64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2009)

  4. I recall Greg Cochran writing that polygamy would result in higher mutational load due to paternal age, but his focus was more on pre-Islamic Africa & Australia.

    • Replies: @ohwilleke
    The conclusion on mutational load depends a lot on how polygamy is practiced.

    If family wealth is enabling young scions to make multiple wives, then you wouldn't expect this effect. It would also tend to be a mild effect if men who lived to reproductive age had short lifespans themselves.

    But, if polygny is due to older, self-made affluent men taking on multiple wives perhaps because earlier wives have had no or few children, or to support widows of men in the community who have died, it might very well be true.
  5. @TGGP
    I recall Greg Cochran writing that polygamy would result in higher mutational load due to paternal age, but his focus was more on pre-Islamic Africa & Australia.

    The conclusion on mutational load depends a lot on how polygamy is practiced.

    If family wealth is enabling young scions to make multiple wives, then you wouldn’t expect this effect. It would also tend to be a mild effect if men who lived to reproductive age had short lifespans themselves.

    But, if polygny is due to older, self-made affluent men taking on multiple wives perhaps because earlier wives have had no or few children, or to support widows of men in the community who have died, it might very well be true.

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