Darryl J. Holman
BIO A 568
A consideration of the determinants of fertility variation within and among traditional human societies. Biocultural and ecological perspectives on pubertal timing, nuptiality, duration of birth intervals, and reproductive senescence.
This course examines recent developments in human reproductive biology, human reproductive ecology, and fertility analysis. The major features of the human reproductive process will be considered using a combination of demographic, physiological and evolutionary approaches. The principal focus of the course will be so-called natural fertility, i.e. fertility in the absence of modern methods of birth control. Emphasis will be placed on accounting for the range of variation in natural fertility in the human species as a whole, and on assessing the roles of physiological, behavioral, and environmental factors in regulating reproductive output. Special attention will be given to the design of field studies of reproductive ecology in "anthropological settings" (i.e. outside of clinical settings, and usually among near-natural fertility populations). Finally, human reproduction will be examined in its larger ecological and evolutionary contexts.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lectures and student presentations
Class assignments and grading
Two problem sets and presentation