This continues yesterday’s post on Dr. Anna Manchin’s vital and highly informative article (Aeon, 1/17/19). Put simply, it should be required reading for anyone with an interest in fathers, children, mothers, families, etc.
To recap briefly, Manchin argues that fatherhood, the investment by males in their offspring, was critical, perhaps all-important, to our species’ evolutionary success? That’s because our big-brain strategy for survival and our upright posture mean our children are born extremely immature. They also come, with fairly rare exceptions, one at a time. It also means they take an inordinate amount of time to reach sexual maturity. So how’s a species like that to survive when infants and females were under constant threat of illness, accident or death? Females had to wean their children far earlier than do our closest primate relatives, meaning that they renewed ovulation sooner and could produce additional offspring.