The onset of the menopause in humans has been linked to men failing to fly the nest.
Women have the unusual trait of undergoing the menopause - in contrast with the females of most other species who reproduce until the day they die.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University discovered the evolution of the menopause in humans was boosted by the tendency for sons and grandsons to remain living close to home.
The two-year study looked at the "grandma hypothesis", that women lived long past the reproductive age in order to help successfully raise their grandchildren.
Co-author and zoologist Dr Hazel Nichols, from Liverpool John Moores, said:
Evolutionary biologist Dr Kevin Arbuckle, from the University of Liverpool, said:
The study, published in the Biology Letters journal, used data from 26 different mammal species, including three different tribal or historical human populations, to test for the effects of lifespan, group size and male and female philopatry - the tendency to remain within a family group - on post-reproductive lifespan.