Re: Baby-making

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Wed Sep 20 2000 - 11:41:55 PDT

Gojomo writes:
> > "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:

Here's another. Modern vegetarians have a wide variety of diets. I
wouldn't be surprised if vegetarian magnesium, potassium, and calcium
intake had a much larger standard deviation than the comparable figure
for the whole population. If the magnesium-to-sex function is
nonlinear, demonstrating that the average magnesium intake is the same
is insufficient to dismiss it as a cause.

Here's another. Girls are tougher than boys, at least after they're
born. If some fraction of vegetarians, say 30%, have some undiagnosed
nutritional deficit --- one unknown among UK meat-eaters --- that
deficit might cause miscarriages or make it harder for sperm to
survive. It doesn't seem improbable that such a situation would kill
female fetuses and sperm less than males.

(It is definitely easier to malnourish oneself on a vegetarian diet.)

Largely-vegetarian societies probably don't have traditional widespread
nutritional deficits, and probably have much smaller variation in
vegetarian diets than English vegetarians.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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