Cool Fact of the Day: 8,000 Years Ago, Way More Women Than Men Passed Their Genes Down

Take THAT, patriarchy.

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Swimming around somewhere in your cells' nuclei is the DNA of a bunch of 8,000-year-old women who passed on genetic material like it was their jobs. Nifty.

According to a new study from Arizona State University (opens in new tab), 4,000 to 8,000 years after humanity invented agriculture, women were reproducing DNA at the rate of 17 females to one male. Researchers analyzed the DNA of more than 450 volunteers across the world, looking for two special types you can only inherit from your ancestors based on their sex. Turns out there's always more of the female DNA, though no one can really come up with a good explanation.

Was there some weird disease that only affected dudes? Unlikely. Did old-timey women only want to settle down with wealthy, powerful clan leaders, leaving all the penniless farmers single and heirless forever? Possibly. The reproduction proportion today is approximately four or five women for every man, so maybe people really are following their moms' scientifically backed advice to lower their standards (opens in new tab).

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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.