how come women begin being biologically capable of having babies at an age (periods can start as early as 9) in which they are not developmentally/emotionally/physically capable to?

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how come women begin being biologically capable of having babies at an age (periods can start as early as 9) in which they are not developmentally/emotionally/physically capable to?

In: Biology

Actually they are physically capable of it. Pretty sure evolution just didn’t need women to be mentally or emotionally developed that much in order for them to be physically able to reproduce. After all humans as social animals have parents and grandparents to help with the children. It’s advantageous to be able to reproduce as early as possible. Ten years is already quite a long time for most species.

It used to be common for women to have babies at 13 or so. We have since gained a better understanding of the emotional development of children and realize they are nowhere near fully developed at 12 or 13.

I’d say that modern medicine and how we have better nutrition nowadays has also affected this. Thoughts?

Evolution and natural selection. There may have been subsets of women that didn’t hit menarche until they were 16/18/20 but back when you only lived to 25 or 30 that would have been a serious disadvantage. Women with the genes to hit it earlier would have been selected over time because they would have had more children and earlier. Fast forward to today, and most women can have kids earlier. There will always be mutations that cause some women to hit menarche later, and now that modern medicine exists they have a much much better chance of having healthy fertile offspring that survive and stuff, but since we come from the branch of the tree where women had kids early, most women will be able to have them early.