Maastricht's Missing Girls. A research into patterns and determinants of excess mortality among girls, 1864-1930.

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2024-03-28
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en
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In both past and present societies certain groups of girls experience high levels of mortality, despite female’s pre-determined biologically survival advantage. Proposed explanations range from (1) biological hypotheses, like girls having less resistance to communicable diseases, to (2) gendered roles, where young females - caring for the sick within households - were more exposed to infections, and (3) gender discrimination, including reduced access to food and medical care. However, these theories lack thorough empirical testing. This research focuses on patterns and determinants of excess mortality among girls between 1 and 15 in Maastricht (1864-1930). Using the individual-level data of the Maastricht Death and Disease Database, this research examined the role of the age category, individual cause of death, specific diseases and disease outbreaks, socioeconomic status of the parents, occupational exposure to infectious diseases and family composition into mortality differences between boys and girls in Maastricht.
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