Passed by the mother


There’s an ongoing debate it seems as to whether women are biologically superior to men, or vice versa stemming in part from the fact that woman in general live longer than men - when they’re not being killed in childbirth. Thankfully, with the advent of modern technology, women are able to live longer than ever before as we are able to have children more safely than ever before.

There are lots of different factors to take into account here of course and I can see now that there are definite bonuses and downsides to each gender, even though I always thought that as a female I got the short end of the straw being stuck with the two worst things - menstruation and childbirth. A lot of these points are outlined here, such as men’s reproductive ability and faster recovery, and women less recessive disorders and longer lifespan.

While there can be no clear winner from these facts, I found it very interesting reading this post on quora that speaks of men as a ‘dead end’ for mitochondrial DNA.

Yup..being a girl, only I can transmit my mitochondrial DNA to the next generation , when I have my kids...So my children , will have an un tampered, uncrossed over copy of only my mitochondrial DNA (which was passed down to me by my great, great grandmother etc)...Son's are a dead end for the mitochondrial DNA in the family...so yes,only if I have a daughter will she be able to pass down my mitochondrial gene and if I have a son he will become a dead end for my mitochondrial gene (probably pass down the paternal Y chromosome ).

This is interesting mostly in that in our society has mostly been patrilinear, as far as most Kingdoms and Empires have been concerned - they have largely been ruled by men who are then taken over by more men and passed down to sons; none other than these mitochondrial DNA dead ends.

In fact, probably the only book which I have read so far which uses a matrilinear pattern of inheritance is the Earth’s Children books by Jean M. Auel, which I often felt a little awkward reading. In these books, a brother and sister would often together be the head of a specific clan or group of people. For the brother, his sister’s children would be his heirs and ultimately those who would most likely become the next leaders. But the children born to him would be the ‘children of his hearth’, that he would love, but were not his true heirs. (Or something to that extent - it’s been a while since I’ve last re-read them.)

The more I get on with life, the more I realise that out of all the books I ever read, Jean M. Auel was probably the only one who ever had her head screwed on straight. How remarkable.