Seven percent of newborns in the United States weigh in at less than five and one half pounds. These "low birth weight" babies face challenges that others will never know—challenges that begin with a greater risk of infant mortality and extend well into adulthood in the form of health and developmental problems. Because low birth weight is often accompanied by social risk factors such as minority racial status, low education, young maternal age, and low income, the question of causes and consequences—of precisely how biological and social factors figure into this equation—becomes especially tricky to sort out. This is the question that The Starting Gate takes up, bringing a novel perspective to the nature-nurture debate by using the starting point of birth as a lens to examine biological and social inheritance.
The Starting Gate Birth Weight and Life Chances
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