Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Am J Hum Biol. 2006 Jul-Aug;18(4):481-91.

Family composition and menarcheal age: anti-inbreeding strategies.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Altoona Campus, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601, USA. rlm191@psu.edu

Abstract

Family composition (e.g., the absence of a father) is associated with pubertal timing in women, although the socioendocrinology of the human primate is poorly understood. To better understand social influences on sexual maturation, retrospective data were collected on menarcheal age and family composition from a sample of approximately 1,938 participants from a college population. Absence of a biological father, the presence of half- and step-brothers, and living in an urban environment were associated with earlier menarche. The presence of sisters in the household while growing up, especially older sisters, was associated with delayed menarche. Menarcheal age was not affected by number of brothers in the household, nor was there an effect of birth order. Body weight and race were also associated with menarche. The present findings advance the literature as they are suggestive of putative human pheromones that modulate sexual maturation to promote gene survival and prevent inbreeding, as occurs in rodents and nonhuman primates.

PMID:
16788900
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk