TORONTO: An Indo-Canadian professor and his team of researchers at McMaster University have found that men are actually responsible for menopause in women!
Menopause means that a woman’s ovaries stop releasing an egg every month and, as a result, her menstruation or fertility too stops.
Prof Rama S. Singh of the Department of Biology at McMaster University and his colleagues Jonathan Stone and Richard Morton have come to the conclusion that it is men’s preference (for younger women) that is responsible for menopause. And men’s preference for younger women is the result of natural selection in the evolutionary process of the human race.
In their new research, Prof Singh and his team say that when it comes to reproduction, men have always preferred younger women for mating. As a result of this natural selection, older women were no longer required to be fertile because men no longer desired them for sex. So, older women stopped menstruating.
But previous theories have said that menopause stopped so that older women could no loner reproduce. But the new finding by Singh and his team says that menopause stopped because of the lack of reproduction as men preferred younger women for mating.
In fact, the so-called `grandmother theory’ prevalent in all societies says that older women became infertile so that they could help with the upbringing of their grandchildren.
Prof Singh counters this theory by saying, “How do you evolve infertility? It is contrary to the whole notion of natural selection. Natural selection selects for fertility, for reproduction – not for stopping it.’’
Because of this natural selection, genetic mutations occurred (in women) that brought on menopause among women when they reached a certain age, leaving them infertile.
“This theory says that natural selection doesn’t have to do anything. If women were reproducing all along, and there were no preference against older women, women would be reproducing like men are for their whole lives,’’ Prof Singh said.
Their finding appeared the journal, PLOS Computational Biology, on Thursday.