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Life History and Race Differences in Puberty Length: A Test of Differential-K Theory

Edward Dutton and Guy Madison


Published: 2016/06/01


Life history speed has been argued to differ across the three main races, with Sub-Saharan Africans adopting the fastest (most r) strategy, Northeast Asians adopting the slowest (most K) strategy and Caucasians being intermediate, but closer to Northeast Asians (Rushton, 1995). Differential-K theory would predict that puberty begins earlier in the more r-strategy groups. Here, we extend this hypothesis to the length of puberty rather than its onset. Examining previously published data, we find that puberty is shortest amongst Caucasians and longest amongst Sub-Saharan Africans, and argue that this pattern is consistent with Differential-K theory. Key Words: Puberty, Race, Group Differences, Differential K Theory

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