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Women outnumbered men throughout human history: Study

Thu, Sep 25, 2014, 04:58 PM
London, Sep 25 : In developments which could lead to books on human evolutionary history being rewritten, new DNA analysis has found that women outnumbered men throughout humanity.

Studying DNA samples of 623 males from 51 populations around the world, researchers took the DNA samples from each male and compared the paternally inherited Y chromosome (NRY) with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), passed by mothers to their children.

The genetic findings offered evidence of polygyny - when one man has many wives, Live Science reported.

These practices resulted in females making a larger genetic contribution to the global population than males did, the study noted.

According to the findings, females migrated more than males did, spreading their female mitochondrial DNA far and wide and reducing genetic variability between populations.

Men stayed put which resulted in their sons having distinct genes in each population.

"For much of human history, a greater proportion of women in the population reproduced relative to men," explained lead researcher Mark Stoneking, a professor from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany.

The paper appeared in the journal Investigative Genetics.
Agency: IANS
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