Cross-cultural studies of sex-specific mortality indicate that, whereas males experience their greatest mortality in industrialized societies, females experience their greatest mortality in populations with low life expectancy. The higher mortality of females in low-life-expectancy communities has been interpreted as a reflection of nutritional and health-care discrimination against females. Cross-cultural demographic studies also indicate that males have a higher frequency of violent and accidental deaths, possibly because of more frequent risky behaviors. This study focuses on Escazu, a rural nineteenth-century population from Costa Rica with low life expectancy. I investigate whether Escazu males had higher violent and accidental deaths and whether females had higher diarrhea-related deaths, an indication of nutritional discrimination. An analysis of mortality by cause of death indicates that males and females did not experience significantly different diarrhea-related death rates, although males did experience greater violent mortality. This study illustrates that more anthropological community-specific studies of mortality are needed to elucidate variation of death rates with in large national or international regions.
"Differential Sex Mortality in a Rural Nineteenth-Century Population: Escazu, Costa Rica,"
2, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol64/iss2/6