Caesarean Births “Affecting Human Evolution”

Recent studies have suggested that rapid changes in the environment can speed evolutionary responses. Increasing reliance on Caesarean sections contributed to more mothers requiring surgery to deliver infants, suggests theoretical biologist Philipp Mitteröcker at the University of Vienna. Helen Briggs wrote about the study for BBC News: “The researchers devised a mathematical model using data from the World Health Organization and other large birth studies. They found opposing evolutionary forces in their theoretical study. One is a trend towards larger newborns, which are more healthy. However, if they grow too large, they get stuck during labour, which historically would have proved disastrous for mother and baby, and their genes would not be passed on.” The study notes that women's height, weight and age can also influence how infants are delivered. Mitteröcker does not recommend curtailing Caesareans and anticipates that the trend gained speed during the 20th century and will slow. – YaleGlobal

Caesarean Births “Affecting Human Evolution”

The regular use of Caesarean sections is having an impact on human evolution by favoring larger heads, suggests researcher in theoretical evolution
Helen Briggs
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Read the article.


Read about the “Cliff-Edge Model of Obstetric Selection in Humans" from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 

Copyright © 2016 BBC.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.