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Thread: The moon and women

  1. #1 The moon and women 
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    I've been wondering again...

    The reproduction of animals (and of plants even more so) is timed around the solar year. The reason fot this is obvious, as there are seasons that are best for the survival of the offspring, both in utero and after birth.

    However, women (and the females of some of our close evolutionary relatives) undergo a cycle whose frequency closely approximates that of the phases of the moon.

    This raises two questions:

    1) What is the impact of the Moon on land organisms whose habitat is not directly affected by ocean tides? Apparently, not much, on humans at least, or we'd have many more calendars and clocks telling us what to expect from that corner.

    2) If the moon is in any way relevant to human reproduction, why don't all women ovulate at the same "best" phase of the moon? In most cases, even the ovulation of one particular woman will occur at varying lunar phases, as her cycles will be a little longer or a little shorter than a lunar month.


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    The tide, if it affects us at all, would be felt twice daily not monthly. But this doesn't discount some lunar influence. We know by isolating humans from clocks and sunlight, our cycle adjusts to something longer than 24 hours: 25 hours or less depending on the study. The force driving high tide comes every 24 hours and 50 minutes. You could say that humans compromise between following the moon, and the sun. Maybe it's the daily discrepancy which is actually being clocked? Confirm that by checking how nightly hours of sleep affect menstruation timing?

    EDIT: I should mention that Natives of the Pacific Northwest - a relatively dense population in precolonial North America - based life very much around the tides. Most food was harvested from the exposed tide zone ("When the tide is low, the table is set"). For this reason fishing as the tides dictate is still ordinary, though few of us do that anymore.

    The majority of early humans may have lived this way, but fluctuating ocean levels of course would have removed all trace of them.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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