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Hard Times Bring Baby Girls

Mom: Are you having a daughter? According to a new study of the 1959-1961 Great Leap Forward famine in China, women are more likely to give birth to girls during famine conditions than when there's plenty to eat. With the recession on here in the US, we may start to see more girls born here as well.

In LiveScience.com, Stephanie Pappas quotes sociologist Shige Song as saying, "Investment on male children is a high-risk, high-return game, so you want to do it only if you are in very good situation." This may be part of the reason for the high rates of infanticide of girls in recent years, due to China's one-child ruling.

Since the father determines the sex of the child, not having enough to eat must cause a male to produce more XX (female) sperm than XY (male). Pappas quotes Song as saying, "In good conditions, invest in sons; in poor conditions, invest in daughters. The evolutionary argument goes that anybody who can do this survives, anybody who cannot, they go away."

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