Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia: reply to James.

Alexandra Slade, J. H. Underwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In response to comments of William H. James on the authors' articles, it is stated that Micronesian populations are now and have been in the past characteristically highly masculinized at birth (i.e., secondary sex ratios [SSR] of over 108-110). It is fascinating to examine how this finding may reflect microevolutionary change in this island setting. Aspects of reproductive behavior in Micronesia were examined for clues to proximate/remote mechanisms that may promote this pattern of male versus female births. One of the most singular defining features of the reproductive pattern of these groups is high coital rates, maintained against age and marriage duration. It is argued that SSR patterns in Micronesia are a corollary of the unique biobehavioral reproductive features of these island groups, which includes high coital rates. Professor James' concerns relate to 2 considerations: 1) the statistical aspect of results from small scale populations, and 2) the veracity and reliability of results from ethnographic research. Methodologies employed by modern ethnographers entail extensive and intensive cross-checking, multiple verification, and repeated re-evaluation of information collected from a large number of independent sources. In the Butaritari case, conclusions are drawn from several very different but consistent lines of evidence that show coital rates are maintained with age and marriage duration in this group: ethnographic data showing the marriage relationship maintains a highly sexualized environment, demographic data showing no effective reduction in fertility through the first 2 decades of marriage. In the case of the sex ratios, almost all births in these populations over the last century have been covered, and sample sizes in the thousands are available. These are acceptable for use of chi-square and sufficient to make inferences about variations in sex ratios by age group as they relate to coital activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-282
Number of pages3
JournalSocial Biology
Volume41
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1994
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Micronesia
marriage
sex ratio
Sex Ratio
Marriage
Parturition
Islands
Population
Reproductive Behavior
reproductive behavior
duration
Group
Reproducibility of Results
Sample Size
Fertility
fertility
age group
university teacher
demographic statistics
Age Groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Demography

Cite this

Slade, A., & Underwood, J. H. (1994). Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia: reply to James. Social Biology, 41(3-4), 280-282.

Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia : reply to James. / Slade, Alexandra; Underwood, J. H.

In: Social Biology, Vol. 41, No. 3-4, 09.1994, p. 280-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Slade, A & Underwood, JH 1994, 'Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia: reply to James.', Social Biology, vol. 41, no. 3-4, pp. 280-282.
Slade A, Underwood JH. Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia: reply to James. Social Biology. 1994 Sep;41(3-4):280-282.
Slade, Alexandra ; Underwood, J. H. / Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia : reply to James. In: Social Biology. 1994 ; Vol. 41, No. 3-4. pp. 280-282.
@article{78526f5aaf054356b066116794ed87e6,
title = "Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia: reply to James.",
abstract = "In response to comments of William H. James on the authors' articles, it is stated that Micronesian populations are now and have been in the past characteristically highly masculinized at birth (i.e., secondary sex ratios [SSR] of over 108-110). It is fascinating to examine how this finding may reflect microevolutionary change in this island setting. Aspects of reproductive behavior in Micronesia were examined for clues to proximate/remote mechanisms that may promote this pattern of male versus female births. One of the most singular defining features of the reproductive pattern of these groups is high coital rates, maintained against age and marriage duration. It is argued that SSR patterns in Micronesia are a corollary of the unique biobehavioral reproductive features of these island groups, which includes high coital rates. Professor James' concerns relate to 2 considerations: 1) the statistical aspect of results from small scale populations, and 2) the veracity and reliability of results from ethnographic research. Methodologies employed by modern ethnographers entail extensive and intensive cross-checking, multiple verification, and repeated re-evaluation of information collected from a large number of independent sources. In the Butaritari case, conclusions are drawn from several very different but consistent lines of evidence that show coital rates are maintained with age and marriage duration in this group: ethnographic data showing the marriage relationship maintains a highly sexualized environment, demographic data showing no effective reduction in fertility through the first 2 decades of marriage. In the case of the sex ratios, almost all births in these populations over the last century have been covered, and sample sizes in the thousands are available. These are acceptable for use of chi-square and sufficient to make inferences about variations in sex ratios by age group as they relate to coital activity.",
author = "Alexandra Slade and Underwood, {J. H.}",
year = "1994",
month = "9",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "41",
pages = "280--282",
journal = "Biodemography and Social Biology",
issn = "1948-5565",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "3-4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sex ratios at birth in Micronesia

T2 - reply to James.

AU - Slade, Alexandra

AU - Underwood, J. H.

PY - 1994/9

Y1 - 1994/9

N2 - In response to comments of William H. James on the authors' articles, it is stated that Micronesian populations are now and have been in the past characteristically highly masculinized at birth (i.e., secondary sex ratios [SSR] of over 108-110). It is fascinating to examine how this finding may reflect microevolutionary change in this island setting. Aspects of reproductive behavior in Micronesia were examined for clues to proximate/remote mechanisms that may promote this pattern of male versus female births. One of the most singular defining features of the reproductive pattern of these groups is high coital rates, maintained against age and marriage duration. It is argued that SSR patterns in Micronesia are a corollary of the unique biobehavioral reproductive features of these island groups, which includes high coital rates. Professor James' concerns relate to 2 considerations: 1) the statistical aspect of results from small scale populations, and 2) the veracity and reliability of results from ethnographic research. Methodologies employed by modern ethnographers entail extensive and intensive cross-checking, multiple verification, and repeated re-evaluation of information collected from a large number of independent sources. In the Butaritari case, conclusions are drawn from several very different but consistent lines of evidence that show coital rates are maintained with age and marriage duration in this group: ethnographic data showing the marriage relationship maintains a highly sexualized environment, demographic data showing no effective reduction in fertility through the first 2 decades of marriage. In the case of the sex ratios, almost all births in these populations over the last century have been covered, and sample sizes in the thousands are available. These are acceptable for use of chi-square and sufficient to make inferences about variations in sex ratios by age group as they relate to coital activity.

AB - In response to comments of William H. James on the authors' articles, it is stated that Micronesian populations are now and have been in the past characteristically highly masculinized at birth (i.e., secondary sex ratios [SSR] of over 108-110). It is fascinating to examine how this finding may reflect microevolutionary change in this island setting. Aspects of reproductive behavior in Micronesia were examined for clues to proximate/remote mechanisms that may promote this pattern of male versus female births. One of the most singular defining features of the reproductive pattern of these groups is high coital rates, maintained against age and marriage duration. It is argued that SSR patterns in Micronesia are a corollary of the unique biobehavioral reproductive features of these island groups, which includes high coital rates. Professor James' concerns relate to 2 considerations: 1) the statistical aspect of results from small scale populations, and 2) the veracity and reliability of results from ethnographic research. Methodologies employed by modern ethnographers entail extensive and intensive cross-checking, multiple verification, and repeated re-evaluation of information collected from a large number of independent sources. In the Butaritari case, conclusions are drawn from several very different but consistent lines of evidence that show coital rates are maintained with age and marriage duration in this group: ethnographic data showing the marriage relationship maintains a highly sexualized environment, demographic data showing no effective reduction in fertility through the first 2 decades of marriage. In the case of the sex ratios, almost all births in these populations over the last century have been covered, and sample sizes in the thousands are available. These are acceptable for use of chi-square and sufficient to make inferences about variations in sex ratios by age group as they relate to coital activity.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0028509520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0028509520&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 7761913

AN - SCOPUS:0028509520

VL - 41

SP - 280

EP - 282

JO - Biodemography and Social Biology

JF - Biodemography and Social Biology

SN - 1948-5565

IS - 3-4

ER -