Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Birth Seasonality, Photoperiod, and Social Change in the Central Canadian Arctic

Richard G. Condon
Human Ecology
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 287-321
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4603014
Page Count: 35
  • Download ($43.95)
  • Cite this Item
Birth Seasonality, Photoperiod, and Social Change in the Central Canadian Arctic
Preview not available

Abstract

Birth seasonality at high latitudes is a complex phenomenon which is undoubtedly affected by a subtle interaction between environmental rhythmicity (most notably in photoperiod and temperature) and cultural adaption. There is intriguing evidence that human gonadotrophic activity (and hence fertility) may be affected by seasonal fluctuations in light intensity and duration. Nevertheless, cultural factors are important insofar as they mediate between environmental rhythmicity and human fertility/birth patterns. This article examines the distribution of births over several decades in an Inuit community located 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Several shifts in birth seasonality are noted, the most significant of which is a dramatic shift from pronounced seasonality in the 1970s to non-seasonality in the 1980s. Longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork has allowed an examination of social and economic changes accounting for the rather sudden disappearance of birth seasonality. These include increasing reliance upon wage employment and social assistance, decreased dependence upon subsistence hunting and trapping, changing attitudes on the part of young people entering their prime reproductive years, and the introduction of television, radio, and southern-style recreational activities.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
287
    287
  • Thumbnail: Page 
288
    288
  • Thumbnail: Page 
289
    289
  • Thumbnail: Page 
290
    290
  • Thumbnail: Page 
291
    291
  • Thumbnail: Page 
292
    292
  • Thumbnail: Page 
293
    293
  • Thumbnail: Page 
294
    294
  • Thumbnail: Page 
295
    295
  • Thumbnail: Page 
296
    296
  • Thumbnail: Page 
297
    297
  • Thumbnail: Page 
298
    298
  • Thumbnail: Page 
299
    299
  • Thumbnail: Page 
300
    300
  • Thumbnail: Page 
301
    301
  • Thumbnail: Page 
302
    302
  • Thumbnail: Page 
303
    303
  • Thumbnail: Page 
304
    304
  • Thumbnail: Page 
305
    305
  • Thumbnail: Page 
306
    306
  • Thumbnail: Page 
307
    307
  • Thumbnail: Page 
308
    308
  • Thumbnail: Page 
309
    309
  • Thumbnail: Page 
310
    310
  • Thumbnail: Page 
311
    311
  • Thumbnail: Page 
312
    312
  • Thumbnail: Page 
313
    313
  • Thumbnail: Page 
314
    314
  • Thumbnail: Page 
315
    315
  • Thumbnail: Page 
316
    316
  • Thumbnail: Page 
317
    317
  • Thumbnail: Page 
318
    318
  • Thumbnail: Page 
319
    319
  • Thumbnail: Page 
320
    320
  • Thumbnail: Page 
321
    321