Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The concentration of reproduction into the central portion of the lifespan means that motherhood involves the expenditure of a great deal of energy. The most likely explanation for how human females achieve this rapid reproduction is with the help of mates and kin. The early termination of reproduction could be an adaptation either to complete the lengthy, child-rearing process without risking early death through maternal mortality, and/or to help daughters with their reproductive careers. Different strategies for optimal reproductive scheduling, and how they depend on the resources available, can be modelled formally using state-dependent optimality theory. However, as the net food supply had not increased and family sizes had increased, childhood malnutrition also went up. This may be a counter-intuitive result for those in the business of supplying much-needed infrastructural development in such areas, but one that can be understood in the light of optimal reproductive scheduling in a natural fertility population.

Keywords: reproduction, motherhood, human, females, mates, kin, mortality, optimal reproductive scheduling, optimality theory, fertility

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.