Why do people remain childless?
Posted: 05 Jul 2017

New study by Melinda Mills and Felix Tropf finds genetic sexual dimorphism may explain childlessness.

New article published in the European Journal of Human Genetics: Sexual dimorphism in the genetic influence on human childlessness. ‘Previous research has found a genetic component of human reproduction and childlessness. Others have argued that the heritability of reproduction is counterintuitive due to a frequent misinterpretation that additive genetic variance in reproductive fitness should be close to zero. Yet it is plausible that different genetic loci operate in male and female fertility in the form ofs exual dimorphism and that these genes are passed on to the next generation. This study examines the extent to which genetic factors influence childlessness and provides an empirical test of genetic sexual dimorphism.’

Further information

Melinda Mills is Head of Department, Nuffield Professor of Sociology