Saturday, November 22, 2008

Polygyny Increases Diversity, Study Finds

Another story in the 25 October Science News may interest partisans of sexual freedom. Titled "X chromosome is extra diverse," it describes a recent study finding evidence that "the X chromosome is more genetically diverse than would be expected if men and women passed along their genes equally."

Despite this wording, I don't think this implies that it's the inequality between quantities of polyandry and polygyny that is responsible for increasing total genetic diversity. It's just that men are physically capable of having children by more mates than women are. It stands to reason that if women were capable of the same degree of polyandry, diversity would be increased even further. The bottom line is that this seems to be a good counterexample to the common assumption that monogamy is good for the species.

The article can be read here: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/36900/title/X_chromosome_is_extra_diverse.

Eric Hamell

1 comment:

stripey7 said...

Yippee! The Woodhull Freedom Foundation just sent this post, together with the text of the Science News article, to their newslist.