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Reproduction is among the most basic of human biological functions, both for our distant ancestors and for ourselves, whether we live on the plains of Africa or in North American suburbs. Our reproductive biology unites us as a species, but it has also been an important engine of our evolution. In the way our bodies function today we can see both the imprint of our formative past and implications for our future. It is the infinitely subtle and endlessly dramatic story of human reproduction and its evolutionary context that Peter T. Ellison tells in "On Fertile Ground." Ranging from the latest achievements of modern fertility clinics to the lives of subsistence farmers in the rain forests of Africa, this book offers both a remarkably broad and a minutely detailed exploration of human reproduction. Ellison, a leading pioneer in the field, combines the perspectives of anthropology, stressing the range and variation of human experience; ecology, sensitive to the two-way interactions between humans and their environments; and evolutionary biology, emphasizing a functional understanding of human reproductive biology and its role in our evolutionary history. Whether contrasting female athletes missing their periods and male athletes using anabolic steroids with Polish farm women and hunter-gatherers in Paraguay, or exploring the intricate choreography of an implanting embryo or of a nursing mother and her child, "On Fertile Ground" advances a rich and deeply satisfying explanation of the mechanisms by which we reproduce and the evolutionary forces behind their design.
A primatologist explores the mystery of the origins of human reproduction, explaining that understanding the evolutionary past can provide insight into what worked, what didn't, and what it all means for the future of mankind.
This book, a rare melding of human and animal research and theoretical and empirical science, ventures into the most interesting realms of behavioral biology to examine the intimate role of endocrinology in social relationships.
Awarded the W. W. Howells Award for the Outstanding Book in Biological Anthropology, this volume presents a comprehensive, integrated, and up-to-date overview of the major physiological and behavioral factors affecting human reproduction. In attempting to identify the most important causes of variation in fertility within and among human populations, Wood summarizes data from a wide range of societies. Trained as an anthropologist as well as a demographer, he devotes special attention to so-called ""natural fertility"" populations, in which modern contraceptives and induced abortion are not used to limit reproductive output. Such an emphasis enables him to study the interaction of biology and behavior with particular clarity.The volume weaves together the physiological, demographic, and biometric approaches to human fertility in a way that will encourage future interdisciplinary research. Instead of offering a general overview, the focus is to answer one question: Why does fertility and the number of live births vary from couple to couple within any particular population, and from population to population across the human species as a whole?Topics covered include ovarian function, conception and pregnancy, intrauterine mortality, reproductive maturation and senescence, coital frequency and the waiting time to conception, marriage patterns and the initiation of reproduction, the fertility-reducing effects of breastfeeding, the impact of maternal nutrition on reproduction, and reproductive seasonality. This unique combination of comprehensive subject matter and an integrated analytical approach makes the book ideally suited both as a graduate-level textbook and as a reference work.
In Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives, anthropologist Wenda Trevathan explores a range of women's health issues, with a specific focus on reproduction, that may be viewed through an evolutionary lens. Trevathan illustrates the power and potential of examining the human life cycle from an evolutionary perspective, and how such an approach could help improve both our understanding of women's health and our ability to respond to health challenges in creative and effective ways.
The fourth edition of Human Reproductive Biology—winner of a 2015 Textbook Excellence Award (Texty) from The Text and Academic Authors Association—emphasizes the biological and biomedical aspects of human reproduction, explains advances in reproductive science and discusses the choices and concerns of today. Generously illustrated in full color, the text provides current information about human reproductive anatomy and physiology. This expansive text covers the full range of topics in human reproduction, from the biology of male and female systems to conception, pregnancy, labor and birth. It goes on to cover issues in fertility and its control, population growth and family planning, induced abortion and sexually transmitted diseases. This is the ideal book for courses on human reproductive biology, with chapter introductions, sidebars on related topics, chapter summaries and suggestions for further reading. Winner of a 2015 Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors Association Beautifully redrawn full-color illustrations complement completely updated material with the latest research results, and clear, logical presentation of topics Covers the basic science of reproduction—endocrinology, anatomy, physiology, development, function and senescence of the reproductive system—as well as applied aspects including contraception, infertility and diseases of the reproductive system New companion website features full-color illustrations as PowerPoint and jpeg files for both professors and students to use for study and presentations
Evolution is the single most important idea in modern biology, shedding light on virtually every biological question, from the shape of orchid blossoms to the distribution of species across the planet. Until recently, however, the theory has had little impact on medical research or practice. Evolutionary Medicine shows how this is beginning to change. Collecting work from leaders in the field, this volume describes an array of new and innovative approaches to human health that are based on an appreciation of our long evolutionary history. For example, it shows how evolution helps to explain the complex relationship between our immune systems and the virulence and transmission of human viruses. It also shows how comparisons between how we live today and how our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived thousands of years ago illuminate a variety of contemporary ills, including obesity, lower-back pain, and insomnia. Evolutionary Medicine covers issues at every stage of life, from infancy (colic, jaundice, SIDS, parent-infant sleep struggles, ear infections, breast-feeding, asthma) to adulthood (sexually transmitted diseases, depression, overeating, addictions, child abuse, cardiovascular disease, breast and ovarian cancer) to old age (osteoporosis, geriatric sleep problems). Written for a wide range of students and researchers in medicine, anthropology, and psychology, it is an invaluable guide to this rapidly developing field.

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