The picture that Professor Sykes is painting is of a nuclear family without a man in sight.
We went in search of what could be the template for the survival of our species. Laura and Natalie are a lovely couple who live in South London with their 13-month-old daughter Sanne. They agreed to let our all-male crew take a peek into their lives. Natalie actually gave birth to Sanne. The sperm came from an anonymous donor. She's raised by two moms.
"That the child will be well balanced with just two moms: Well, that's been proven back in the 40s," explained Natalie, who is also a child psychologist. "It's the care giving and the relationship between the care-giver and the infant that is the important part."
Laura, who right now is the bread winner, thinks any family will work as long as the child is, "getting the attention, the affection, the discipline." Looking at her very contented daughter, Laura told me, "She's obviously confident. She's very stable and secure. So I think so far we're doing okay."
Laura attended both the dads' and the moms' prenatal classes. I asked Natalie if having Laura as the partner was better than having a man? "I had actually a couple of mothers saying, 'Well, at least Laura's a woman she will understand better.'" Natalie told me. "And I said, 'no.' … She was exactly the same as the dads!"
Could Laura mount a defense? "I would like to think that I separate from the dads in that I'm not hooked on the ball games and things like that," she explained. And I must say, she was knee-deep in diaper changing and feeding time while we were hanging out.
So judging by this family, two moms aren't necessarily better, but can be just as good. But surely they must need a burly man for some things? I offered to put up some shelves, or change some light bulbs. "Actually, Laura is very, very handy," Natalie told me, trying not to hurt my feelings.
"My father's a mechanic, so there's nothing about a car that disturbs me," explained Laura. "I've also … I renovated a house. So, I'm really not concerned about that either."
Maybe our only hope as men is that women decide to keep us alive for their own amusement. For the pop music, perhaps, or maybe the dancing. We can be good at that.
For more details on Professor Sykes' work, check out http://www.oxfordancestors.com/