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The Natural and Sexual Selection of Endometriosis
January 19, 2022
We have developed a new theory for the proximate and ultimate causes of endometriosis. We describe evidence from genetics, endocrinology, morphology, behaviour, and life history that risk for endometriosis is driven by low prenatal and postnatal testosterone, and that the evolution of endometriosis risks, symptoms and correlates have been mediated by both sexual selection and natural selection. The work: (1) shows how sexual selection can lead to maladaptive extremes of reproductive adaptations that manifest in symptoms of disease, (2) provides an example of conceptual sex biases in physiology and medicine, and (3) provides new insights directly relevant to endometriosis treatment.
Speaker: Bernard Crespi, Simon Fraser University