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Strassmann, B. I. (1997) The Biology of Menstruation in Homo Sapiens: Total Lifetime Menses, Fecundity, and Nonsynchrony in a Natural-Fertility Population. Current Anthropology, 38 123–129. 
Added by: Sarina (29 May 2013 20:07:17 UTC)   Last edited by: Sarina (01 Jun 2013 12:33:20 UTC)
Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Strassmann1997
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Categories: General
Creators: Strassmann
Collection: Current Anthropology
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Studies of  female reproductive  biology in humans  are almost entirely limited to women who spend the majority  of  their  reproductive years  in  menstrual  cycling.  Given that human reproductive  biology evolved when pregnancy  and  lactation  were  the  usual  reproductive states (Short 1976) it is important to consider reproductive  patterns  in  natural-fertility  populations. In  these populations, couples do not attempt to control their fertility in a parity-dependent fashion (Henry 1961). Johnson et al. (1987) conducted a longitudinal investigation of  menstruation  in  a noncontracepting population,  the Gainj of  Papua New Guinea, but their sample includes only 40 menstrual  cycles in 36 women. Bentley, Harrigan, and Ellison (1990) monitored 178 menstrual  cycles among the Lese of  Zaire, but because of  endemic venereal disease many Lese women were sterile and therefore displayed  the  Western  pattern  of  cycling repeatedly without  becoming pregnant. Here I present  the  first long-term, prospective  data on menstruation in a true natural-fertility  population,  the  Dogon  of  Mali.  The sample includes  477  untruncated menstrual  cycles in 58 women. I focus on three specific questions: (I)From menarche to menopause, how many menses  do Dogon women  experience  in  a lifetime? (2) How are menses patterned over the life span? and (3) Do Dogon women synchronize their menstrual cycles?
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