Thursday, 20 November 2008

Having big brothers reduces your chances of having children

There was an interesting article in yesterday's Daily Mail. Sheffield University researchers have shown that having an elder brother can affect the fertility of a younger brother or sister, which may reduce their ability to have a family of their own.

The theory centres around the belief that a first child takes away so much out of a woman during pregnancy that it may affect subsequent children in the womb. The study showed that having an older sister reduces the chances of a sibling having kids to 67%, whilst an older brother reduces it to 62%.

As reported in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, younger siblings also tend to have children later in life and with large gaps between them, which it claims has a biological basis. Cultural aspects, such as an older child standing to inherit a family business, are apparently not contibuting factors.

If anyone needs a genealogical project, trying to corroborate the above could be fun!

Scotland's Greatest Story
Professional family history research & genealogical problem solving

1 comment:

ACS said...

I think all you have to do is look at the Osmond family to see that there's at least an exception to every rule, if not totally disproving the theory! ;-)