Tall Tale?

You’ve perhaps heard about studies that suggest that more boys were born just ahead of the two World Wars.
There really hasn’t been a satisfactory explanation for that phenomena – other than the somewhat ominous suggestion that there was a connection between nature’s replenishment of that sex ahead of the devastation of war – until now.
A sociologist thinks he has an answer, according to a report in the Boston Globe. Apparently, a sample of records of soldiers who served in the British Army during World War I revealed that taller soldiers (by taller, the study indicated, on average, more than one inch taller) were more likely to survive. Moreover, in a more recent sample of American men, he also found that taller men were more likely to have male children.
Thus, the culling of shorter men (who were not as likely to have male children) from the population may have increased the number of boys born within a few years of the war. In fact, researcher Satoshi Kanazawa notes that “conservative estimates suggest that the one-inch height advantage alone is more than twice as sufficient to account for all the excess boys born in the UK during and after World War I.’
What remains unanswered – why are taller men were less likely to die in combat?

The report, “Big and Tall Soldiers Are More Likely to Survive Battle: A Possible Explanation for the ‘Returning Soldier Effect’ on the Secondary Sex Ratio,” is available at http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/22/11/3002