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Mature dating leading to fertility changes?Posted on: July 23, 2010 12:12:25
Mature singles may be changing fertility patterns, according to a new report.
Academics at the University of Sheffield have suggested that old-age fertility could improve by natural selection as more people are waiting to start a family.
Duncan Gillespie, Dr Virpi Lummaa and Dr Andrew Russell, from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, looked at centuries-old church records from Finland to study over 1,000 women, who were mostly married in a time when divorce was forbidden.
They found that the majority did not have the opportunity to reproduce later in life, as they were married when young to older men and were then widowed.
The researchers explained that this led to young-age fertility being valued in natural selection.
A decade ago, research in the Western Journal of Medicine stated that women in their late 40s "seldom conceive", but the trend of 40 plus dating and even love over 50 could "lead to future evolutionary improvements in old-age female fertility", said Mr Gillespie.
"Childbearing within a relationship is still the norm in modern society," he added.
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