Full text: Problems in eugenics

3©oSection III.D. C. Gini. 
according to the views of several authors (Westermarck, Haycraft, Ewart), 
an atavistic survival of an original season of reproduction. 
Having reached this point it is natural to ask ourselves whether individuals 
conceived in spring, and thus following, one might say, the primordial 
custom of our species, might not be found to shew particularly favourable 
characteristics Starting from this point, Ewart appears to have ascertained 
that children born in the months January to March, and after them children 
born in the months April to June, seem to be, at the age of eleven, as regards 
stature and weight, in a particularly favourable condition. In the seventh 
and twelfth year the number of the survivors of those born in the first half 
of the year is clearly in excess of those born in the second half of the 
year (7). 
6. A close examination of materials relating to births according to months 
(Tables II. and III.) cuts at the very basis of this argument. 
In Europe itself (see Table II.) we find countries (Denmark, Roumania, 
Croatia and Slavonia, Hungary) in which the births during January, corres­ 
ponding to conceptions in the middle of spring, are found to be below the 
mean; in others, the conceptions during spring (births between January and 
March) are nearly equalled (England and Wales, Norway) or surpassed 
(Ireland) by those in the summer (births between April and June). 
But the gravest doubts arise when we examine the phenomena in countries 
outside Europe. The data in Table III, the first of the kind, 1 think, to be 
published, although not numerous enough to shew for the other parts of the 
world a regularity like that found for Europe, are in any case more than 
adequate to show that the regularity found for Europe does not hold good for 
other countries. In North America we often see (districts of Columbia, City 
of Providence, Mexico), a well defined maximum of births during the summer 
and also in autumn, corresponding to conception during autumn and winter, 
while the maximum of conception in the spring sometimes fails to appear 
(Providence), and sometimes is just apparent (Mexico). In Greenland, besides 
the highly pronounced maximum between January and March, we observe 
others in May and July. In South America as in Australia, Japan, and 
Bengal there is a maximum of births in the winter, but the maximum begins 
to shew itself (except in Victoria), in September, October, and November ; and 
in Bengal it is higher in these months than in the winter months. Finally 
in Madras, Bombay, and Mauritius, the quarterly data do not shew any 
maximum of conceptions in the spring, while the births corresponding to the 
autumn and winter conceptions (for Bombay and Madras) and to the summer 
and autumn (Mauritius) rise above the mean. 
These results for many non-European countries, while they differ notably 
among themselves, are at one in shewing a tendency, considering births 
according to months, rather different from that observed for some time past

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