The Multi-Gravidic Survival Advantage

Posted on May 2, 2012 by

It makes sense that “mother nature” is pro-natalist…otherwise, the struggle to survive would be that much more difficult. Now we have research to back it up:

The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday reported the results of a study by researchers at the University of New South Wales, which analyzed 1,200 women over the age of 60 since 1988. Women with six or more children were found to be 40 percent less likely to die during the 16-year follow-up period than women with no children, an expectancy that increased predictably with each child they bore. Researchers said that, although it was not known exactly why children increased life expectancy, the results corresponded to the findings of studies in other countries as well.

The study also found that men with more children were less likely to die earlier, although the link was not as clear as with women.

This is bad news for feminists, who consider marriage and children to be obstacles to their self-actualization, and for Malthusian greenies, who consider humans to be a infestation on the planet best eradicated. The good news, if it can be thought of this way, for the pro-natalist crowd is that the antis will eventually select themselves out of the gene pool.

What I also found interesting about this article is the finding that both fathers and mothers benefit from birthing/siring children. While the article mentions recent research that suggests fetal stem cells cross the placenta and rejuvenate mothers, no such mechanism can exist for fathers. Thus one wonders what the link for dads is. My guess it is behavioral…more socialized behaviors and less risk-taking producing the survival advantage. I wonder if the researchers cross-tabbed for marital status…I speculate that the link is positive for men who remain married to their wives and raise their biological children, but negative for single men or divorced/separated men.