Birth order and gender : differential parental investment in Medieval England and France in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries
This dissertation addresses the question: will parents invest differently in their children based on gender and birth order? Using parental investment theory and four major sets of outcome variables--child survival, parental investment (through wealth, land, and titles), marriage, and reproductive success--this question will be examined in an historic population, medieval England and France in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries. The results presented in this dissertation shows that parents were willing to invest in their offspring differentially with a preference for sons over daughters and older children over younger children. Historic populations provide a microcosm in which to study human behavior. The findings in this dissertation have implications for both evolutionary ecology and evolutionary demography.
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