Moulay Ismael and his 1171 Offspring

When Moulay Ismael’s brother fell off a horse and died he opened up the possibility for anthropologists and other scientists to better understand the dynamics of the human evolution. This includes how we managed to differentiate ourselves from other apes.  Greg Downey’s article, “The man with 1000 children: the limit of male fertility”, offers an extensive amount of information about the behaviors of the sultanate of Morocco.  The article also explains why women and men reproduce differently, and that men actually have a limit on how many offspring they intend on conceiving.  During his reign, Ismael totaled an amount of over 4000 wives and concubines. When any of his wives became unfaithful, Ismael would torture them by cutting off their breasts and pulling out all of their teeth.  Then, the men were liable to be executed. This kind of behavior gave rhetoric proof that males cannot reproduce as much as we believed. The women possess an innate nature of caring for their children for an elongated amount of time and reproductive organs that allow for “increasing cognitive, social, technological, and perceptual abilities.”  This explains the “enormous gap between humans and other apes.”  Knowing this can even help anthropologists understand more about our human sexual decisions and behaviors. This is a very erudite and informational article and I really recommend it.  

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