Monday, May 23, 2005

From the Department of the Weird

It's well-known that human beings produce about 105 live boy births for every 100 live girl births. After that it's downhill for the boys: they die at a higher statistical rate during each year of life. In the olden days, women frequently died during childbirth. Now that's unheard of, and by the time old age rolls around there aren't all that many men.

These trends are different in such countries as India, China, and Korea, where there are something like 140 boys for every girl, at least in some areas. What happens to the girls? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

Here's where it gets weird. A recent study in Britain finds that if you divide people up by profession, engineers and people in other standard male-oriented professions are likely to have far more boys than the general population, 140 boys for every 100 girls, while people in nursing and other traditional female professions are likely to produce 135 girls for every 100 boys. Is it nature or nurture? Something in the water? Do people in more traditional female jobs have genes preferring girls? Is there a sort of backroom evolutionary competition going on between male engineers and female nurses to control the world? Who knows?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGGGH! That's totally freaky.

It explains why there are so many boys around here, though.

10:31 AM  

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