Maternal Personality, Evolution and the Sex Ratio : Do Mothers Control the Sex of the Infant? book cover
1st Edition

Maternal Personality, Evolution and the Sex Ratio
Do Mothers Control the Sex of the Infant?

ISBN 9780415158800
Published February 20, 1998 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

Women who are dominant are more likely to have sons. Demographic studies show that more male children are born after wars, yet most people believe that their baby's sex is a matter of chance - determined by the father's sperm. Valerie Grant presents evidence that the mother's personality - which is related to female testosterone levels - can actually influence which type of sperm fertilises the egg.
Using data from human and animal studies Valerie Grant discusses the implications for human evolution, developmental psychology and reproductive biology. Her claims are controversial and the implications of her findings far reaching. Whether mothers have sons or daughters may not be a matter of chance. It may depend on which sex infant the mother is more suited to raise.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Overview; Chapter 2 Defining and Measuring Dominance; Chapter 3 The Biological Basis of Dominance; Chapter 4 Evidence From Biostatistics; Chapter 5 The Physiology of Sex Determination; Chapter 6 Dominance in Animals; Chapter 7 Dominance and the Sex Ratio in Animals; Chapter 8 The Sex Ratio in Humans; Chapter 9 Early Experience and Evolutionary Advantage; Chapter 10 Sex P References and Sex Selection;

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Valerie J. Grant is Lecturer in Behavioural Science at the School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


"Grant has produced a well thought and coherent hypothesis on the effects that maternal personality could have on the human sex ratios. The literary format of the text provides what can be complex data in an interesting and informative manner that will engage with both an academic and general audience. The core concepts of the maternal dominance hypothesis are well explored throughout the book and are supported by valid research findings...

Grant's considerations of the ethics and implications of attempts to alter human sex ratio by artificial means also make very engaging and thought-provoking reading. In conclusion I believe the text would be of interest to a variety of audiences, from evolutionary psychologists to reproductive physiologists, because of the breadth of empirical work studied and the consideration given to the implications of the theory and peripheral issues involving the human sex ratio. In short a well written book and highly recommended." - Mark Sergeant, The Nottingham Trent University, in 'Human Nature Review'