Taller women do better in a stressed environment: Height and reproductive success in rural Guatemalan women

Pollet, Thomas and Nettle, Daniel (2008) Taller women do better in a stressed environment: Height and reproductive success in rural Guatemalan women. American Journal of Human Biology, 20 (3). pp. 264-269. ISSN 1042-0533

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.20708

Abstract

Previous research on the relationship between height and reproductive success in women has produced mixed results. One possible explanation for these is mediation by ecological factors, such as environmental stress. Here we investigate female height and reproductive success under conditions of environmental stress (poverty) using a large scale dataset from Guatemala (n = 2,571). Controlling for educational attainment, age and ethnicity, we examined relationships between height and childlessness, occurrence of a stillbirth, fertility and child survival. There was no significant relationship between height and never haven given birth. Extremely short women had a significantly raised likelihood of experiencing stillbirth. There were curvilinear relationships between height and age at first birth, fertility, and survival rates for children. Overall, though, the penalties for short stature, particularly in terms of child survival, were far greater than those associated with extreme tallness, and so female height is positively associated with overall fitness in this population.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 11:32
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 11:35
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/32063

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