Human Nature

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 74–97

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



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 history Mortality Sex differences Sexual selection 


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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2006

Authors and Affiliations

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

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