Too young to die. Excess female mortality at young ages in the Netherlands, 1850-1930
03 / 2008 - 03 / 2012
Despite the fact that women have a greater life expectancy than men, a result of their biological advantage, they do not always live longer. In today s third world, but also in Europe at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century we find so-called excess female mortality. Especially girls and young women died in greater numbers than boys and young men. They mostly suffered from disadvantages when it came to primary necessities. Several historical studies have successfully demonstrated the existence of gendered mortality patterns. For the Netherlands, however, only very little is known.This research project aims at a thorough examination of sex differentials in mortality between birth and age 20 in the Netherlands in the period 1850-1930, a period characterized by excess female mortality.The main question is: Did girls, in a period of improving health care and mortality decline and despite their biological advantage, have a higher mortality rate than boys, and, if so, why? The focus will be sharply on the pattern of regional variation and its causal mechanisms. Furthermore, we will also reconstruct a large number of individual life courses as well as the social history of parents and siblings, because a young girl s health and survival depended to a large extent upon the allocation of goods and services within the family.