Most human mythologies contain stories of "first men" and eponymous founders of nations; these were often ridiculed in recent times as invented stories whose purpose was to engender social cohesion through a story of shared descent. But, now it seems that these stories were at least in part true, and such ultra-prolific patriarchs do indeed stand at the beginning of many later lines of descent.
This historical fact about males and fitness inequity has recently been verified by a rather stunning genomic study, which found that humans exhibit far less diversity in Y chromosomes than in X chromosomes. This finding suggests that some ancestral males disproportionately won the struggle to reproduce while others lost out entirely. By analyzing our genome, researchers were able to calculate that for a period after the introduction of agriculture, one man reproduced for every seventeen (!) women.