Males do not reduce the fitness of their female co-twins in contemporary samples.

S.E. Medland, J.C. Loehlin, G. Willemsen, P.K. Hatemi, M.C. Keller, D.I. Boomsma, L.J. Eaves, N.G. Martin

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Lummaa et al. (2007) presented historical data collected from twins born in Finland between 1734 and 1888 which suggested that females (N = 31) born as part of an opposite sex (OS) twin pair were 25% less likely to reproduce than female twins (N = 35) born as part of a same sex (SS) pair. They hypothesized that this reduction in fitness was due to masculinization of the female fetus via prenatal effects of the hormones of a male fetus. Because such masculinization would presumably take place in modern populations as well, it would seem important to establish to what degree it does so, and if so, whether reproduction is affected. We therefore address the question of reproduction differences in individual female twins from same-sex (N = 1979) and opposite-sex (N = 913) dizygotic pairs in studies carried out in Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. In all three samples, there were no differences in the number of children or age of first pregnancies in women from same sex pairs compared to those from opposite sex pairs. Similarly, there were no differences in psychological femininity between women from pairs of the same or opposite sex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-487
JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cohort Studies

  • Netherlands Twin Register (NTR)


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