Human Nature

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 74–97

An evolutionary life-history framework for understanding sex differences in human mortality rates


DOI: 10.1007/s12110-006-1021-z

Cite this article as:
Kruger, D.J. & Nesse, R.M. Hum Nat (2006) 17: 74. doi:10.1007/s12110-006-1021-z


Sex differences in mortality rates stem from genetic, physiological, behavioral, and social causes that are best understood when integrated in an evolutionary life history framework. This paper investigates the Male-to-Female Mortality Ratio (M:F MR) from external and internal causes and across contexts to illustrate how sex differences shaped by sexual selection interact with the environment to yield a pattern with some consistency, but also with expected variations due to socioeconomic and other factors.

Key words

Life historyMortalitySex differencesSexual selection

Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prevention Research Center and Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor