« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
materials to resolve the problem of the diversity of sexes according to the difference of races, or according to the heat of the climate or elevation of the regions which our species inhabit :-We shall here, therefore, merely content ourselves with general results.
In France it has been found by a partial enumeration made with the greatest care, that in 991,829 souls, the living women are to the men in the proportion of nine to eight. M. Peuchet * appears to adopt the proportion of 34:33. It is certain that in France there are more women than men, and, what is very remarkable, that there are more males born in the country and in the south than in the towns and departments comprehended between the 47th and 52d degree of latitude.
But in New Spain these arithmetical calculations give a result totally different. The males are in general more numerous there than the females, as is proved by the following table, drawn up by me from eight provinces, or a population of 1,952,000 inhabitants.
here we see that these beardless Indians, who are cool enough in all conscience, and to whom their women prefer any thing that comes in their way, black or white, beget more males than females. Trans. " !
* Statistique elementaire de la France, p. 242.
called presidios, in which there are no women. But we shall of Mexico is partly owing to the existence of the military posts
* It might be supposed that the excess of males in the north
Spaniards or whites
11,163 10,566 100 : 95
6,770 5,946 | 100 : 87
--- 100 to 95
In these five provinces the
total of all the races is
It follows from my calculations, compared with those made by the ministry of the interior at Paris, that the males are to the females in the general population of New Spain in the proportion of 100 : 95; and in the French empire in the proportion of 100 : 103. These numbers appear to indicate the true state of things; for we cannot conceive why, in the enumeration made by orders of the Count de Revillagigedo, the Mexican women should have more interest in withdrawing them. selves than the men. This suspicion is so much the more improbable, as in the great cities the proportion between the sexes appears to differ from that in the country *.
afterwards see, that these presidios in the whole do not contain more than three thousand men.
* The Spanish missionaries tell us that among the Indians it is very common for a mother to kill her female offspring, from a wish to preserve her child from the misery which awaits her when grown up. (Gumilla, vol. II. p. 71.) Gu. milla used to tax the women with their inhumanity in this respect, who, for answer, generally told him that they wished that they had themselves been deprived of life in childhood; and he gives, as he says, a faithful report of a speech made to him one day by one of these women, which occupies two or three pages. She enumerates the life of hardship which she had been obliged to lead, carrying her children about while working during the day and while her husband was amusing himself, and grinding his maize and preparing it for his breakfast during the night while he enjoyed himself in sleep. All this, she says, however, could even be borne with; but as she advances in years, the husband takes a young wife, who engrosses his affections, and to whom she and her children are obliged to become the slaves. The speech displays great feeling, and is no small credit to female Indian eloquence. (Id. p. 75-6-7.) This is the fate of the Indian women in the Spanish missions; it was once, no doubt, universal over the whole country; and though now, perhaps, somewhat milder among the Indios reducidos, yet a custom is often kept up long after the cause of it has ceased. We might account in this way for the smaller number of females than males among the Indians; and what appears to favour this view is, that in the great cities where the treatment of the females must be better from the influence of the whites, and consequently fewer female children will be murdered, the number of females exceeds that of the males. Trans.
It is the aspect of these great cities which has probably given rise to the false idea generally prevailing in the colonies, that in warm climates, and · consequently in all the lower regions of the torrid zone, more girls than boys are born. The few parish registers which I examined gave a directly contrary result. In the capital of Mexico there were born in five years between 1797 and 1802,
In the parishes of
the Sagrario .
Male births. Female births.
At Panuco and Yguala, two places situated in a very warm and very unhealthy climate, there was not one register in which the excess was not on the side of the male births *. In general, the proportion of male to female births appears to me in New Spain to e as 100: 97; which indicates an excess of males somewhat greater than in France, where for 100 boys there are born 96 girls *
* At Panuco, the parish registers give, from 1793 to 1802,
As to the proportion of the deaths to the differ. ence of sexes, it was imposible for me to discover the law established by nature. At Panuco, in ten years, there died 179 males for 509 females. At Mexico, there were in one parish, that of the Sa. grario, during five years, 2393 female deaths, and 195 i male. According to these data, very insufficient it must be allowed, the excess of men in life ought to be still greater than what it was found. But it appears that in other countries the male deaths are more frequent than the female deaths. At Yguala and Colimaya, the former were to the latter, for ten years, as 1204 : 1191 and 1330 : 1272. M. de Pomelles has already observed, that in France even, the difference of the sexes is much more sensible in the births than in the deaths; there are one-seventeenth more males than females
for 674 male births, 550 female births. At Yguala there were 1788 boys for 1035 girls.
* I need not caution the reader that the proportion of male and female births is one thing, and that of males and females in existence anotber. For instance, M. de Humboldt has just told us, that the females are to the males in France as 103 : 100, though the female births are to the male as 96 : 100. Trans.