Two publications analysing the impact of epidemic disease outbreaks on women in the early modern period

Dr. D.R. (Daniel) Curtis

Daniel R. Curtis (ESHCC) has recently published two interrelated articles that analyze the impact of epidemic disease outbreaks on women in the early modern period.

The first article, co-authored with Qijun Han, offers demographic evidence from seventeenth-century rural burial registers (pictured below) that suggests that women died at a higher rate than men during epidemics, when considered relative to normal times. This runs counter to expectations of a 'female mortality advantage' based on biological advantages.

In the second paper, a range of historical evidence is assembled to suggest that this may be explained by gender-related differences in exposure to vectors and points of contagion caused by gendered expectations of care provision and other burdens taken on by women during epidemics.