The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Male to female ratio  (Read 5423 times)

paul.fr

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« on: 23/04/2007 05:07:36 »
If only 10 people could survive a nuclear war, what ratio of men to women would give the best odds to reproduce more children?
« Last Edit: 23/04/2007 05:17:56 by paul.fr »


 

another_someone

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« Reply #1 on: 23/04/2007 07:33:36 »
Clearly, the number of sexually active males to females can be very low, since  one male can mate with a substantial number of females.

The question is more how many sexually inactive workers (of either sex - since it may be argued that if they are sexually inactive, it does not matter which sex they are) are required by the society.  For practical purposes, sexually inactive simply means they do not procreate - it makes no inference with regard to recreational sex, since this has little impact on the workers ability to function as a worker.

It might be argued that even in the absence of a nuclear war, we have a substantial proportion of the population who are (in practical terms) sexually inactive workers.  Whether, after a nuclear war, the number of workers should be reduced in any way is the main issue really to be addressed.
 

Offline tony6789

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1127
    • View Profile
Male to female ratio
« Reply #2 on: 23/04/2007 16:46:50 »
i think that they wud all die and cockaroaches wud take over!!lol sry
 

Offline Ben6789

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 760
  • And then there were none.
    • View Profile
Male to female ratio
« Reply #3 on: 23/04/2007 16:55:51 »
Then aliens would come and kill the cockroaches.

But seriously, unlike other species, humans will "mate" with someone they don't like much, if it means survival. If the last two vultures on earth won't mate because they don't like each other, they are done, humans can bypass that problem.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« Reply #4 on: 23/04/2007 17:39:04 »
But seriously, unlike other species, humans will "mate" with someone they don't like much, if it means survival. If the last two vultures on earth won't mate because they don't like each other, they are done, humans can bypass that problem.

Maybe the Giant Panda might be a bit choosy in its mates, but most species are not that fussy (if they were, breeders trying to breed thoroughbred stock for the farm, or for the kenels, would have had a much harder time of it than they do - OK, these days they use artificial insemination, but in the past, that was not an option).
 

Offline DrDick

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 162
    • View Profile
Male to female ratio
« Reply #5 on: 23/04/2007 18:55:31 »
If only 10 people could survive a nuclear war, what ratio of men to women would give the best odds to reproduce more children?

Just looking at the possibility for more children, then one fertile male and nine fertile women would be the best bet. 

However, to help ensure the future of the human race, you would want the greatest genetic diversity.  In this case, a 5:5 ratio would be best.  (This would also lessen the problem caused by the possibility of that one male being infertile for some reason.)

Dick
 

lyner

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« Reply #6 on: 23/04/2007 23:38:22 »
Quote
Just looking at the possibility for more children, then one fertile male and nine fertile women would be the best bet. 
That poor guy could get very old very quickly!
And he'd have no one to talk football and cars with.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« Reply #7 on: 23/04/2007 23:46:47 »
Just looking at the possibility for more children, then one fertile male and nine fertile women would be the best bet. 

However, to help ensure the future of the human race, you would want the greatest genetic diversity.  In this case, a 5:5 ratio would be best.  (This would also lessen the problem caused by the possibility of that one male being infertile for some reason.)

Dick

I assume when you are looking to maximise genetic diversity, you are implying that each women would provide offspring to each of the men - so we are not actually talking about 1:1 bonding, but widespread promiscuity.

Overall, I would still think a higher female to male ratio would be preferable, although I take your point about the risks of having only one male.

The genetic diversity issue is not totally compromised (although reduced) by having only a single male, since aside from the Y chromosome, you still have diversity from the range of mothers, but the risks of infertility or just the risk of premature death of the single male is a genuine issue.
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Male to female ratio
« Reply #8 on: 23/04/2007 23:47:26 »
Quote
Just looking at the possibility for more children, then one fertile male and nine fertile women would be the best bet. 
That poor guy could get very old very quickly!
And he'd have no one to talk football and cars with.

And how do you think they would put together their football teams - or would this just be reminiscences of the long ago golden age - as all societies create their myths of a golden age, with supermen who achieved things that no modern (contextual to the era) could ever achieve.
« Last Edit: 23/04/2007 23:49:55 by another_someone »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Male to female ratio
« Reply #8 on: 23/04/2007 23:47:26 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums