Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Nettle
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From an ultimate perspective, the age of onset of female reproduction should be sensitive to variation in mortality rates, and variation in the productivity of non-reproductive activities. In accordance with this prediction, most of the cross-national variation in women's age at first birth can be explained by differences in female life expectancies and incomes. The within-country variation in England shows a similar pattern: women have children younger in neighbourhoods where the expectation of healthy life is shorter and incomes are lower. I consider the proximate mechanisms likely to be involved in producing locally appropriate reproductive decisions. There is evidence suggesting that developmental induction, social learning and contextual evocation may all play a role.
Author(s): Nettle D
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences
Print publication date: 01/02/2011
ISSN (print): 0962-8452
ISSN (electronic): 1471-2954
Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing
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