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Lookup NU author(s): Thomas Pollet,
Professor Daniel Nettle
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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. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Author(s): Pollet TV, Nettle D
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: American Journal of Human Biology
ISSN (print): 1042-0533
ISSN (electronic): 1520-6300
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
PubMed id: 18172869
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