A growing body of literature indicates that diseases can affect women and men differently. As sex differences extend far beyond biology, it is crucial to adopt a bicultural approach towards understanding human disease patterns and processes. This 1998 book synthesizes modern medical research with paleopathological investigations. Conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia, iron deficiency anaemia, infection and immune reactivity and trauma are explored. Recognizing the relationship between these conditions and aspects of sex and gender in past populations assists in the formulation of models from which modern disease processes can be better understood. Exploring the differences will provide provocative ideas for all those in physical anthropology, archaeology, evolutionary biology, history of medicine and women's studies interested in how sex and gender impacts on disease.
Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction: sex, gender and health status in prehistoric and contemporary populations George J. Armelagos; 2. Sex-related patterns of trauma in humans and African apes Robert Jurmain and Lynn Kilgore; 3. Osteoporosis in the bioarchaeology of women David S. Weaver; 4. Iron deficiency anaemia: exploring the difference Patricia Stuart-Macadam; 5. Sex differences in trace elements: status or self-selection? Della Collins Cook and Kevin D. Hunt; 6. Male/female immune reactivity and its implications for interpreting evidence in human skeletal paleopathology Donald J. Ortner; 7. Infectious disease, sex and gender: the complexity of it all Charlotte A. Roberts, Mary E. Lewis and Philip Boocock; 8. Gender differences in health and illness among rural populations in Latin America Thomas L. Leatherman; 9. The mothers and daughters of a patrilineal civilization: the health of females among the Late Classic Maya of Copan, Honduras Rebecca Storey; 10. A history of their own: patterns of death in a nineteenth-century poorhouse Anne L. Grauer, Elizabeth M. McNamara and Diane V. Houdek; 11. Gender, health and activity in foragers and farmers in the American southeast: implications for social organization in the Georgia Bight Clark S. Larsen; Index.