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Maternal Personality, Evolution and the Sex Ratio

by Valerie Grant

Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: Friday, February 20, 1998
Number of Pages: 222
ISBN: 041515880X


Book Summary:

This controversial book discusses the theory of maternal dominance and how the sex of an infant may be determined by whom the mother is more suited to raise. Valerie Grant examines evidence that women who score highly on personality questionnaires designed to measure dominance are more likely than less dominant women to conceive sons.

Dominance is a core personality trait whose biological basis is testosterone. Grant argues that the action of this hormone within the reproductive system leads to the favoring of sperm carrying male or female chromosomes. Thus the mother bears the gender that she is most suited to raise. She explains how these findings are compatible with contemporary research in reproductive physiology, evolutionary biology and developmental psychology and shows how the maternal dominance hypothesis makes sense of puzzling findings in demography, including the fact that more boys are born following war.


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