Research Article

Male procreative superiority index (MPSI): the missing coefficient in African anthropogenetics.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 20 December 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:1700
  1. F I Konotey-Ahulu


    The adult man in Africa, unlike the average European man, can have a biological fitness exceeding that of this wife. Sociocultural factors allow, and indeed encourage, this state of affairs, which may have far-reaching genetic consequences. The male procreative superiority index (MPSI) of any man is easily worked out by dividing the total number of a man's children by the average number of children born to each wife. The country-wide mean MPSI for 3095 fathers contacted throughout Ghana was 2 . 03, indicating that the Ghanaian father on the average has twice as many children as the mother. The genetic consequences of this phenomenon are discussed, bringing out effects on such diverse genes as those for abnormal haemoglobins, twins, and extra digits. African anthropogenetics needs rethinking more on factual lines than on theoretical evolutionary concepts.