Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poor mothers favor daughters, study suggests

Date:
June 21, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
Poor mothers will invest more resources in daughters, who stand a greater chance of increasing their status through marriage than do sons, suggests a new study.

Poor mothers will invest more resources in daughters, who stand a greater chance of increasing their status through marriage than do sons, suggests a study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Masako Fujita, Michigan State University anthropologist, and her fellow researchers tested the breast milk of mothers in northern Kenya and found that poor mothers produced fattier milk for their daughters than for their sons.

On the contrary, mothers who were better off financially favored sons over daughters.

The results, also featured in the journal Nature, support a 1973 hypothesis that predicts poor mothers will favor their daughters.

The Nature article, titled "Rich milk for poor girls," notes that Fujita and her team assessed the fat content from 83 mothers living in villages in which men can have multiple wives. In these villages, taking multiple wives requires wealth to support a larger family, leaving poor males less competitive for marriage. The researchers found that mothers with less land and fewer livestock provided richer milk to their daughters than to their sons.

On average, a mother in northern Kenya raises six children.

The study is one of the first to explore parents' unequal biological investment in their children, such as the nutritional content of breast milk.

Fujita is an assistant professor of anthropology at MSU. The research team also includes Eric Roth of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada; and Yun-Jia Lo, Carolyn Hurst, Jennifer Vollner and Ashley Kendell from MSU.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Anthropology: Rich milk for poor girls. Nature, 07 June 2012 DOI: 10.1038/486008d
  2. Masako Fujita, Eric Roth, Yun-Jia Lo, Carolyn Hurst, Jennifer Vollner, Ashley Kendell. In poor families, mothers' milk is richer for daughters than sons: A test of Trivers-Willard hypothesis in agropastoral settlements in Northern Kenya. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22092

Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Poor mothers favor daughters, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621113339.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, June 21). Poor mothers favor daughters, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621113339.htm
Michigan State University. "Poor mothers favor daughters, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621113339.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins