A Biological Approach to Health and Environment: Cohort Sexual Dimorphism in 20th-Century Spain

Antonio D. Cámara, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

This paper analyzes the impact of environmental conditions upon biological well-being through the trends in sexual dimorphism in height. This is aimed at distinguishing eco-sensitive differentials between men and women from gender and socioeconomic related factors. Self-reported data from seven waves of the Spanish Health Interview Survey (ENSE) were harmonized and utilized for these purposes. Large deviations (i.e. male disadvantage) from modern standards of dimorphism occurred among cohorts that experienced structural deprivation at pre-adult ages. This reflects a higher male eco-sensitivity. Both low values of dimorphism and their subsequent correction were mediated by SES as approached by educational attainment (i.e. upper educated individuals were closer to modern standards of dimorphism within any birth cohort). The shift towards modern standards of dimorphism had to do with both an increase of male mean height and a transitory slowing down of the secular trend among females.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 4