Means, variances, and ranges in reproductive success: comparative evidence
Laura Betzig; July 2012
Evolution and Human Behavior
Data on reproductive success in traditional cultures suggest that for men, but not for women, range and variance rise as subsistence intensifies. For hunter–gatherers, ranges and variances tend to cluster in single digits: they reach 15 or 16, at the high end. For herder-gardeners, ranges and variances are more consistently in double digits: they get as high as 80 or 85. And for full-time agriculturalists in the first civilizations, ranges consistently ran to triple digits: emperors from Mesopotamia to Peru were the fathers of hundreds of children. In human societies, as in other animal societies, reproductive skew goes up with a more sedentary life.
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