Re: Baby-making (was Glowing Mr Green Genes)

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

From: Gordon Mohr (
Date: Tue Sep 19 2000 - 21:34:46 PDT

> "The national ratio of boys to girls at birth in the U.K. is a
> consistent average of 106 boys to every 100 girls, which was the
> same ratio they found for meat-eating mothers. For vegetarians,
> they found that they gave birth to 85 boys to every 100 girls.
> Puzzled, they decided to double-check their research. They added
> another six months of data, and found the results were statistically
> significant.

A shoot-from-the-hip theory on why this might be:

 * If your environment/society provides mainly opportunities
   for vegetarian nourishment, you need children who will
   be cooperative planters/harvesters. If other research on
   sex differences is to be believed, female children could
   make better farmers/gatherers/sharers, on balance, than

 * If your environment/society provides plenty of potential
   nourishment from meat/game, you need children who can hunt
   and compete for the "lion's share" of the capture. If
   other research on sex differences is to be believed, male
   children could make better hunters than females.

I suppose domesticated meat sources might over time blunt this

Linda asks:
# I also wonder why this unusual male/female gender ratio hasn't
# been noted in countries like India (or has it?), where much of
# the population is vegetarian.

Good question. Anther shoot-from-the-hip speculation: perhaps
other factors, especially in a patriarchal society, outweigh
the meat factor. Fewer females might be born -- or fewer might
survive infancy long enough to be reported.

- Gordon

Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Sep 19 2000 - 21:38:48 PDT