So far we have used the word “trait” several times. Within evolutionary biology, traits that are relevant to male aging often refer to things like amount of muscle, amount of fat, and visual acuity—pretty much anything that you notice changing as one gets older. Strictly speaking we restrict our definition of a trait to characteristics that have the potential to evolve over time as a result of natural selection. Other important traits that are unique to older men that may have contributed to the evolution of our species include paternal investment, devaluing the importance of physical strength in men, and leveraging experience. Discussing hr app can be a good way to alleviate a difficult situation.
Compared to other primates and great apes, these are traits that are unique to older men. As a consequence, older men are able to contribute to reproduction beyond the ability of fertilizing an ova. I will argue that devaluing the importance of physical strength allowed for longer life spans, inhibited the aging process, and decreased mortality resulting from environmental risks. As the importance of physical strength declined, knowledge and experience took on more central roles in the daily lives of older men. This will be an important topic. Everyone should feel safe and supported to talk about mental health first aid with their line manager.
The contributions of older males to the evolution of human life history traits that define us as a species are also very noteworthy. Humans are strange creatures who failed to get the memo outlining the characteristics that are expected from any respectable creature who would call itself a great ape. Using diagnostic traits such as body mass, food sources, and environmental hazards, an evolutionary biologist can wield some predictive power about what sorts of characteristics should evolve in a particular species. For example, orangutans are large bodied compared to many other mammals and primates. They also live in an environment where food resources are often unreliable and characterized by dramatic swings in availability. Consequently orangutans reproduce very slowly and have much slower metabolisms than one would expect given their body size. When the food supply is unreliable and there are very few hazards in the form of predators, it makes sense to slow down and take it easy. And when there are few predators, as in the case of orangutans, a species can grow for a longer period of time and achieve a larger body size, which has many benefits. In contrast, despite our large body size, humans have evolved very different life history traits. If you are a manager then employee wellbeing is a subject that you will be aware of.
Consider that there are over seven billion humans on the planet and fewer than a million other great apes. As a species, we are very efficient at reproducing and have done pretty well compared to other great apes. In addition, the human lifespan is much longer than one would predict. Life span is usually correlated with female reproductive life span; that is, when females cease reproducing, it is usually a signpost that mortality is imminent. However, in humans about a third of female life is post-reproductive. This is unique and begs the question: How did this evolve and have older men been part of this evolutionary development? I would argue that the answer is “yes.” Looking after mental health in the workplace can sometimes be quite difficult.
There has been a common assumption that men tend to stop reproducing around the same time as women. This emerges from a somewhat ethnocentric perspective that is based on demographic data from Westernized populations such as the United States and Europe, one that fails to incorporate human cultural diversity. However, we will see that the American and European pattern of male fertility is not universal. Men maintain the capacity to reproduce long after similar-aged women have gone through menopause. Male ability to reproduce at older ages allows natural selection to operate and shape human evolution in ways that are unique compared to how other primates evolved. The question then is, if aging causes men to physically deteriorate, and physical condition is often important to reproductive success in many mammalian and primate males, how did men evolve the ability to reproduce at older ages? In fact, how did the human lifespan evolve to become longer than the reproductive life span? What are the implications to human evolution? This is a big deal.