Full text: Problems in eugenics

D. C. Gini.Sociology and Eugenics. 
Table XX. gives the yearly mean of births (1905-11) and deaths for different 
age classes according to season of birth; and Table XXI. gives the daily mean 
of births and deaths for each age class, according to the season of births, having 
made the daily mean for the whole year =100. In this table it seemed 
advisable, considering the scarcity of data, to combine the last five age 
classes into one. 
From Table XXI. we see how amongst those born in winter the number of 
deaths before the 6th day of the 3rd month after birth (line 2) is more than 
proportional to the number of births (line 1); in the following years (lines 3-5) 
the number of deaths is sometimes more and sometimes less than proportional 
to the number of births; but on the whole (line 6) the results turn out to be 
less than proportional. 
The contrary happens to those born in spring. For those born in summer 
the number of deaths is less than proportional to the number of births ; for 
those born in autumn it is practically proportional in all seasons. 
If we consider the number of deaths in the four periods taken together 
(line 7), they turn out to be proportional to the number of births for those bom 
in autumn, more than proportional for those born in winter, and less than 
proportional for those born in spring and summer. 
Generally speaking, considering those born in all seasons, there seems to be 
some sort of a balance between the mortality during the first three months of 
life and that during the seven following years. But it is not sufficient at any 
rate to make the survival at the end of this period equal for those born in the 
different seasons. 
These results for Cagliari differ in several points from those for Rome. But 
we should not expect, as I said before, that the influence of the season of birth 
on mortality in after life should manifest itself in the same way and to the same 
extent in all countries. The violent winds which disturb the spring, and the 
breezes which greatly diminish the summer heat, may well explain why summer 
is the most favourable season of the year for Cagliari. But in any case we 
consider that the limitations on our observations, and the numerous lacunae in 
our data, warn us to take the results for Cagliari with considerable reserve. 
12, The question of the influence of month of birth could be solved, not 
only in regard to survival, but also in regard to physical, intellectual and 
moral characters, by examining the month in which those people are born 
who depart far from the normal, either above or below (such as centenarians, 
scientists, artists, politicians, athletes, lunatics, criminals, etc.). The 
census list, conveniently reinforced by the data of the Stato civile, the 
biographies of illustrious men, the registers of lunatic asylums and gaols, 
and the lists of Members of Parliament, could give us a large harvest of 
data for such research.

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