We consider six possible origins for the RS CVn binaries based on the following possibilities. RS CVn binaries might now be either pre-main-sequence or post-main-sequence. A pre-main-sequence binary might not always have been a binary but might have resulted from fission of a rapidly rotating single pre-main-sequence star. The main-sequence counterparts might be either single stars or binaries.
To decide which of the six origins is possible, we consider the following observed data for the RS CVn binaries: total mass, total angular momentum, lack of observed connection with regions of star formation, large space density, kinematical age, and the visual companion of WW Dra. In addition we consider lifetimes and space densities of single stars and other types of binaries.
The only origin possible is that the RS CVn binaries are in a thermal phase following fission of a main-sequence single star. In this explanation the single star had a rapidly rotating core which became unstable due to the core contraction which made it begin to evolve off the main sequence. The present Be stars might be examples of such parent single stars.