NEOTONY AND HUMAN EVOLUTION

Neotony can be described as human’s ability to develop from a more childlike state. More instinctual animals, such as the horse, are born more developed and adult-like and develop much less. They are considered to have low neotony. Humans, however, are born with greater neotony, almost fetus-like at first and take longer to develop into adults. It is thought that more intelligent animals have greater neotony, in order to develop longer. Also it is thought that the human species is evolving to have greater neotony, becoming ever smarter. Some say the social trend towards having less children correlates with an evolutionary need for more neotony, allowing parents to be more invested in the nurturing of a child and prolonging childhood and this developmental stage.

Sexuality is also seen in greater neotony. Sexuality is becoming more prevalent at a younger age but also it extends well into the 20s an 30s where many people are still dating. Something that would previously be completed in the teen years.

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