Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Geronimus says black-white differences in mortality "help silence black voices in the electorate"

Do universities need more conservative thinkers?

Starr critical of risk assessment scores for sentencing

Highlights

Frey's new report explores how the changing US electorate could shape the next 5 presidential elections, 2016 to 2032

U-M's Data Science Initiative offers expanded consulting services via CSCAR

Elizabeth Bruch promoted to Associate Professor

Susan Murphy elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Next Brown Bag

PSC Brown Bags
will resume fall 2016

Bobbi Low photo

Life Expectancy, Fertility, and Women's Lives: A Life-History Perspective

Publication Abstract

Low, Bobbi, N. Parker, A. Hazel, and K. Welch. 2013. "Life Expectancy, Fertility, and Women's Lives: A Life-History Perspective." Cross-Cultural Research, 47(2): 198-225.

Women's reproductive lives vary considerably around the world, yet there are patterns to this variation. We explore reproductive patterns in 177 nations using the framework of human behavioral ecology. In humans, as in other species, there is a normally strong relationship between life expectancy at birth (e(0)) and age at first birth (AFB). However, in studies of nonhuman species, this relationship is subject to two implicit assumptions: (a) that any population will be representative of the species, demonstrably untrue for humans (Low et al., 2008), and (b) that the relationship between e(0) and AFB is at equilibrium. What happens if, as is common in humans, changes occur rapidly in life expectancy? Here we explore the factors influencing how patterns of female life expectancy at birth (e(0)) have changed since 1955. We examine the world's worst-off countries (in which e(0) did not predict AFB) to see what predicts life expectancy, age at first birth, and total fertility rate (TFR), and discuss how these features of human biocultural diversity may have policy implications for women's fertility and societal roles.

DOI:10.1177/1069397112471807 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next