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Does the sex ratio at sexual maturity affect men's later-life mortality risks? Evidence from historical China

Emma Zang and Hui Zheng

Social Science & Medicine, 2018, vol. 202, issue C, 61-69

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between the male-to-female sex ratio (measured as the proportion male) at sexual maturity and later-life mortality risks in the context of pre-industrial northeast China, using registration data from the Qing Dynasty. We find that a higher male-to-female sex ratio at sexual maturity is associated with a higher later-life mortality risk among men. This association is likely due to the long-term adverse consequences of stress caused by low mate availability at sexual maturity. We further find that a high sex ratio at sexual maturity mitigates the health benefits of marriage and exacerbates the health disadvantages of holding an official position in Qing China.

Keywords: Sex ratio at sexual maturity; Mortality risks; Life course (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:202:y:2018:i:c:p:61-69