1 Age and Sex

  • Dudley L. PostonJr.Email author
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


In this chapter, I first consider the definition of age and sex. Age is relatively easy to define as long as it is based on chronological age. But the definition of age becomes more difficult to define if the researcher uses prospective age. With regard to sex, some may think that sex is easy to define, but it is not. First, sex and gender are not the same. There are many issues that need to be considered in determining one’s sex, and there are many issues that need to be considered in determining one’s gender. Both sets of issues are reviewed. Next, I review some of the theoretical issues pertaining to what demographers refer to as stable population theory. I next cover some of the methods and approaches demographers use to represent age and sex structure. I conclude the chapter with discussions of two key areas of age and sex structure, namely, the sex ratio at birth (SRB) and population aging.


Age Sex Gender Chronological age Prospective age Stable population theory Sex ratio Sex ratio at birth Population pyramid Population aging 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department SociologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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