Once upon a time, 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, something very strange happened to human reproduction.Across the globe, for every 17 women who were reproducing, passing on genes that are still around today—only one man did the same."It wasn't like there was a mass death of males. " asks Melissa Wilson Sayres, a computational biologist at Arizona State University, and a member of a group of scientists who uncovered this moment in prehistory by analyzing modern genes.Another member of the research team, a biological anthropologist, hypothesizes that somehow, only a few men accumulated lots of wealth and power, leaving nothing for others.These men could then pass their wealth on to their sons, perpetuating this pattern of elitist reproductive success.
By analyzing diversity in these parts, scientists are able to deduce the numbers of female and male ancestors a population has. Instead, the team members tried to think through other explanations.
"Like was there some sort of weird virus that only affected males across the whole globe, 8,000 years ago?