Talk:Sex ratio

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Peer reviewers: Yesi10garcia.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 09:03, 17 January 2022 (UTC)


I'm not happy with this, so I'm going to change it. It appears you may be coming from a geography background whereas I'm coming from biology. A permille number is not a ratio. a ratio should be 1:1 or 0.96:1.00 or something.

Yes, User:Hemanshu Hemanshu said that Sex Ratio is counted in different ways... clarification is needed. But, AFAIK, it is expressed just in number here in India. Example: 953 - which means 953:1000. The important thing to note is: it's not expressed as percentage; but counted for 1000. Your modification sounds bit odd for me as I never heard this. BTW, I'm not from geography. --Rrjanbiah 05:24, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Another limitation to this article is it's fixating on a particular sex ratio at birth of 105:100 for human populations. While this may be the best estimate from a strictly biological standpoint for all human populations, demographers seem to recognize that in actual societies the "natural" sex ratios at birth vary from roughly 103:100 to 107:100. I hope someone more familiar than I with this literature will address the issue of variation from one society to the next, including also differences by "race" and ethnicity. Thank you. Mack2 04:28, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Honestly, just do it yourself. Wikipedia is a work in progress. Regards, Samsara (talkcontribs) 14:22, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Re the "natural" range in societies: I think adding the range up to 120:100 for Jewish populations in Russia in 19th C confuses the issue, especially without any citation and discussion. This this may be a case (citation needed, however) where special cultural practices created an unusual sex ratio at birth in a particular population. But the point of my previous edit was to show that demographers have widely come to accept a range of 103 to 107 as "normal" (i.e., typical in a statistical sense) in the absence of particular "culturally" derived interventions. I have now provided a citation of the range that I entered earlier (103-107) but would regard reporting this normal range as 103 to 120 as inappropriate. If someone wants to speak to the specific case of some 19th C Russian villages, or, for that matter, the more extreme sex ratios observed in parts of the world today, in particular those with strong son preferencd, and then to elaborate the analysis of cultural influences on sex ratios, then I encourage them to do so. There's a place-holder already for Social Factors, and this is where, it seems to me cultural and social factors should be elaborated. Mack2 01:24, 25 June 2006 (UTC) Mack2 05:42, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

To Samsara: Thanks, the Livonian Jewish communities reference is good as documented, though a curious figure that deserves further confirmation and explanation, most likely in cultural/historical terms. There's apparently another recent book that mentions this (article was referred to me from NYT I a few weeks ago). If I can find it, I'll add it to your citation; not sure it refers to Darwin and Livonia specifically or to alternative sources.Mack2 00:49, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


From the article: ...socially-monogamous species such as humans... I think this is misleading, monogamy may be a Western ideal but is not universal. From the article on polygamy: "According to the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook, of the 1231 societies noted, 186 were monogamous. 453 had occasional polygyny, 588 had more frequent polygyny, and 4 had polyandry." Swans may be a better example of a monogamous species. 20:38, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Sources for Demographic Statistics[edit]

It appears to be common practice in Wikipedia to report country-level population statistics from the CIA World Factbook. The CIA does not create these data nor, for the most part, evaluate or correct them. It gets them from the UN's collections or from US Census Bureau reports. I've written a note on the "map" of sex ratios that's included in this article to point out that the map doesn't give a reference year; in fact it doesn't even cite the year of the CIA World Factbook edition. Of course, assuming, say, that the 2005 Factbook is used still doesn't tell us the year to which the sex ratio data refer. Certainly not 2005, since there is a lag between the collection of data and their reporting to UN agencies. Furthermore, data from different countries reported in the Factbook may refer to different years, so that country-to-country comparisons should be made cautiously. I also pointed out that the figure for China (112) in the latest Factbook is out of date, perhaps by 10 years; I suspect the data for many other countries are also out of date by quite a few years. In the case of sex ratios, which may undergo rapid change from year to year, reporting the date and recognizing that there may be trends in the data are very important. This is an issue not just for sex ratios but for many of the statistics (economic, population, etc.) reported in the Factbook. As it stands, the map in this article is undocumented as to the date of publication of the source used or the date of the underlying demogrpaphic data that is being summarized.Mack2 00:50, 5 July 2006 (UTC) I've noted the same problem with the map in the infant mortality rate article.Mack2 00:52, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Remove Map[edit]

In addition to the criticism above, I believe the map is misleading. The typical male female ratio at birth is say 1.05 and since women tend to live longer, it decreases in time. This far outweighs any but a very huge imbalance and therefore the map effectively only gives an indication of the age of a country's population.

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC) 

Claim about motility of X and Y sperm[edit]

I just did a quick search for references supporting the unreferenced claim that sperm bearing the Y chromosome swim faster than those bearing the X chromosome. I wasn't able to find any such references, and furthermore, I found this page suggesting that the idea is nothing but an "old wives' tale":


If anyone has more time / knowledge to apply to this issue, I would flag it as a high priority for improving this article.

Amber Kerr 22:20, 5 February 2007 (UTC) Amber Kerr

  • My mother always told me that male sperm swim faster than female sperm, but female sperm are stronger than male sperm. I'm not sure if it is true or not, but it sounds feasible, as female infants are stronger and more likely to survive than male infants. --Candy-Panda 06:54, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Country sex ratios[edit]

I will be busy, so I do not have enough time to do this, but if anyone is brave enough, could someone please put the list of countries in alphabetical order? Thank you --Robin63 09:28, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Why?? Sorting by numbers has its advantages, and if a person is looking for a specific country they can search with their browser. Mathmo Talk 05:56, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Bare Branches[edit]

I think there should be an article about the "Bare Branches" effect experiences in some Asian contries. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:17, 4 May 2007 (UTC).

far too human-centric[edit]

there needs to be a separate article on sex ratio in humans as this is all about humans and humans are not the only sexual organisms.

Need editing assistance[edit]

at Evolutionary theory of sex--Filll 23:10, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Negative feedback[edit]

I have removed the following section.

Negative feedback is responsible for increased boy’s birth rates during war-times and also in harems. It realizes, through different levels of sexual activity, differential gamete aging and elimination and amount of pollen in plants. The concept was proposed by V. Geodakian in 1965 and confirmed using many plant, animal species and also on humans.[1][2][3][2]

I am removing it for a few reasons. First of all, it's a fairly fringe theory which does not appear to have had a significant impact on the field and including it here gives it undue weight. Secondly, the author of the paragraph is Mr Geodakian's son and as such is in an odd position to include this material. Last but not least it is too poorly written to be understandable. I should note that any study of the sex ratio in harems would appear suspect to most scientists since the data is utterly unreliable and does not take into account the strong possibility of selective infanticide. It also seems clear that no experiment on plants or animal species will be of any help to explain the increased birth rate of boys in war-times or in harems and, as far as I know, there is no solid study even establishing such an imbalance in war-times. Pascal.Tesson 17:02, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Pascal

The main characteristics of a dioecious population: sex ratio, variation and sexual dimorphism should be considered by not as constants, specific for given species, as it was believed earlier, but as variables closely related to the environment. They determine evolutionary flexibility of a species.

In stable conditions (the optimum environment) they should decrease thus reducing the evolutionary plasticity of the species and in changeable conditions (the extreme environment)—grow, raising the plasticity.

Similar to pharmacokinetics which with development of models moved from tables to curves, functions and parameters, sex ratio can be presented the same way.

All sex ratio values (primary, secondary and tertiary) depend upon each other: primary determines secondary which in turn determines tertiary (direct relationship). Some environmental conditions selectively kill one sex, so sex ratio gets altered. If there is no compensation in the next generation the change will continue to grow which eventually can lead to complete elimination of one sex. There should exist a regulating mechanism (negative feedback) to bring sex ratio back to its equilibrium. This is a modern consistent view backed up with a lot of data. Harems just a small, not so significant fraction of it. Selective infanticide will increase number of reported boys. Contrary, the effect of high male mortality under harsh conditions (confirmed on many species) will decrease it. I was surprised to see that different harems had similar sex ratio close to 62% boys. Which was also the case for families with 5 wives. If exposed (with all careful wording) this material can bring more data and stimulate research. From the other hand I understand that encyclopedia is (and should be) a conservative source of trusted information. Therefore I completely trust your judgment if you decide to remove it.Sashag 23:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ V.A. Geodakyan (1977). "The Amount of Pollen as a Regulator of Evolutionary Plasticity of Cross-Pollinating Plants". Doklady Biological Sciences. 234 (1–6): 193–196.
  2. ^ V.A. Geodakyan and S.V. Geodakyan (1985). "Is there a negative feedback in sex determination?". Zurnal obschej biol. 46 (2): 201–216.
  3. ^ K.V. Geodakian and V.A. Geodakian (1998) "Sex Ratio (M/F) Adjusts Genotypical Evolutionary Plasticity (EP) Of a Population, Sinistrality/Dextrality (S/D)—Its Behavioral EP". 'The 14th International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Abstracts July 26-August l, 145.


Call me traditional or an old fogey, but I would have thought it would have been more intuitive to have males represented by blue and females by red. Jooler 12:52, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

That occured to me, as well. When I first looked at the maps, I was truely thrown, thinking it showed a few countries as the exact opposite of what I expected. Then I noticed the key. Argh.
I think the gender boys=blue, girls=pink thing is firmly engrained enough to think it would be a general expectation, like red/blue for hot/cold, etc.
Mdbrownmsw 16:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I wrote this before noticing this section:

I am sure there are many sexist things in this topic against men, so I've chosen not to read it. All I have to say right now is that it's odd that women are indicated by blue, men with red. Blue is the color of Men, Pink traditionally of women. This only becomes an issue when you start to wonder why Men have been explicitly marked in red, against all tradition. I propose it is to subconsciously imply that anywhere with an overwhelming male presence is a problem. I cannot think of any other reason why women would be denoted by a nice cool male blue, and men with a "Uh-oh, Saudi Arabian terrorists" red. Red on maps is traditionally the color used for "cause for concern" or "danger" or something similar. It's a very simple point-Male is blue, female is pink. If you don't like pink, use green. Given the constant vilification of males in all media, one must be vigilant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I find your claims somewhat ridiculous and please assume good faith. Also, firstly as you have already said it is pink that is usually associated with feminity or females not red. Also it's not true the claim that this is this is some sort of tradition. The evidence suggests that in reality that this tradition is fairly recent with blue representing females and pinks males prior to around the 1940s in Western countries. See for example Baby blue and Pink#Pink in gender. And I emphasises Western countries here for a reason. While I think given the strong influence of Western culture the blue=boys, pink=girls trend has some degree of hold in much of the world, I highly doubt it's universal even more so when you start to think about blue and red (which is different from blue/pink). Red for example is a popular colour in many East Asian societies and I'm not convinced it's going to be strongly associated with feminity (perhaps you don't know this but in many such East Asian societies, profits or positive are usually red whereas black or green is used for losses or debts i.e. the opposite of the norm in much of the West, see [3] and [4] for example). Nil Einne (talk) 11:21, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Aw come on, you know the unsigned contributor above is right on target (and possibly equally serious). Red on maps is "traditionally the color used for 'cause for concern' or 'danger' or something similar". Why just this morning the news showed a map depicting the incoming warm air giving us record-breaking high temps today -- obviously chosen because of the "cause for concern" that we are in "danger" from global warming.
Our civic association just put up a map showing our boundries. The civic association to our North is dangerous to us, so they're shown in red. We're all lovey-dovey with our nice, cool neighboring association to the South, shown in blue.
I work in a hospital. Nothing more comforting to a family than hearing "Code Blue", I assure you.
There's very real danger to me, if I don't find a nice card for my partner before February 14. That's why red is associated with Valentine's Day. And the "Red Menace". And Christmas. E. coli might lurk in that red meat. Election results in the U.S. typically show the dangerous, male Republicans in red and the nice, cool, female Democrats in blue. It's. All. So. Clear.
That said, given the widespread association of pink=girl/blue=boy, using red=boy/blue=girl is somewhat counterintuitive, IMO. - Mdsummermsw (talk) 13:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
The pink=girl / blue=boy scheme apparently only dates back to the early 20th century (at most), while there's an alternative old "alchemical" color scheme of (male = planet Mars = metal iron = rust = red) vs. (female = planet Venus = metal copper = patina = green) which dates back to the Renaissance or late middle ages -- though probably only a few people knew about it at any one time... AnonMoos (talk) 14:08, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
As soon as wikipedia has a large number of 19th century readers, that will be relevant. At present, however, we have solid evidence that large numbers of people associate pink with girls and blue with boys and the reasonable assumption that many people will be at least momentarily confused by the current color scheme.
We could have an argument that weather maps have their colors wrong: blue hot is hotter than red hot. Maybe they should use black for cold and white/yellow/orange/red/blue/whatever for hot. Realistically, though, we know that many people associate blue with cold and red with hot::pink (light red) with girls and blue with boys.
The possibly Western-ness of this association is moot unless we have reason to believe the opposite would (not "gee, maybe, could") be confusing elsewhere.
That people 65, 100, 9000 or however many years ago might have viewed this differently is moot. We do not know this to be the case today.
Reversing the current colors would clear up a known confusion.
Mdsummermsw (talk) 14:24, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Actually, that would be 15th-19th century readers, including a few 20th- and 21st-century occultists and/or historically-minded types... SFriendly.gif -- AnonMoos (talk) 14:46, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
Clearly, the 15th-19th century readers are unlikely to unite with the occultists and/or historically-minded types to overrule us. We are wikipedia. Resistance is futile. Oh, and they're dead, too. - Mdsummermsw (talk) 15:22, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

First map is incorrectly colored[edit]

I believe that the first map on this page is incorrectly colored. If you look at the table on the page for the countries of Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh, and Libya you'll see that they have a higher male/female sex ratio (>1.0). But on the map all four countries are colored blue, indicating they have lower male/female ratio (<1.0).

There may be other countries that have this problem but I only noticed some of the larger ones because they stand out. Can someone please update/correct the main map for this page? Ender qa 15:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

"cultural preferences"[edit]

I commented out: "Still more extreme ratios documented in some populations should be attributed rather more to cultural preferences, than to biological variation in the propensity to bear boys or girls."

What? Was the documentation skewed by preferences? Do preferences impact gender at conception? Did preferences alter reported gender? I just don't understand what it's saying. Mdbrownmsw 16:19, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

md brown your an idiot. He's talking about people who choose if they have a boy or girl. Take japan for example, all of the Japanese hate females so they either abort them or give them up for adoption. There offspring in turn may be adopted to another country thus changing the sex ratio not biologically but culturally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:23, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. However, the section I commented out discussed variation in sex ratio at brith "in the absence of sex selection practices". This would exclude effects from gender-specific abortion and adoption.
I'll assume that you were being ironic when you wrote "your [sic] an idiot", then discussed what they do with "(t)here [sic] offspring" in your example, Japan. However, this is completely at odds with the well-sourced data in the very article you're commenting on.
I am sorry that I cannot relate this to you more directly, but you seem to have forgotten to log on before you left your comment, which you also forgot to sign.
Mdbrownmsw 18:46, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

There seem to be no respective article-discussion sections. This is to draw attention to the fact that paragraph 2 of Genetics doesn't make any sense. The entire section seems to have been written by a feminist or at least with a bias. It also continually cites elephants for some reason, despite that last time I checked we were not elephants. Indeed the elephant examples seem to illustrate directly the opposite trend from humans. Also when it cites human sexual availability (male/female) it assumes that they are the same. I think any male, let alone any scientist, will tell you that this couldn't be more inaccurate. Generally the only harems in modern society serve females, and there has never been such inequality. 14 December 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)


The article cites a human sex ratio of 105 then gives an evolutionary argument that the sex ratio must be 1:1. What's up with that? How can the ratio in fact be 105 (NB. that's 105 without counting sex-selective abortion). Emmazunz84 (talk) 21:50, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It says "approximately equal" and 105/100 is in fact approximately equal to 1... However, the 105:100 ratio at birth seems to be adjusted so that the number of males and females of breeding age will be more closely equal than if there were a 100:100 ratio at birth. AnonMoos (talk) 23:12, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Social unrest[edit]

I have just removed the following:

Gender imbalance may result in the threat of social unrest, especially in the case of an excess of young males unable to find a spouse.<ref>''Bare Branches: The Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population'', Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. den Boer (2004)</ref>

This was removed previously for lacking a cite. Now it has a partial cite. Is that a book, newspaper article, undergrad essay, chat room posting, comic book, ... or what? - Mdsummermsw (talk) 16:27, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

It's a book which received rather extensive media coverage in 2004 (as you could have easily discovered in about three seconds of Google searching). AnonMoos (talk) 18:17, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Your citation is still incomplete. "All citation techniques require detailed full citations to be provided for each source used....Full citations for books typically include: the name of the author, the title of the book or article, the date of publication, and page numbers." WP:CITE#FULL - Mdsummermsw (talk) 19:32, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, my various skills and talents do not really extend to being able to easily coerce bibliographic information into a pre-specified rigid narrow format. If you consider it extremely important that the relevant bibliographical information be coerced into a pre-specified precise and exact technical format, then you should be able to do so based on information which is findable in about three seconds of Google searching. AnonMoos (talk) 20:12, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
The page numbers for your cite are not available via google. To be clear here, you are asking me to say where you found it. - Mdsummermsw (talk) 20:32, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Whatever, Dude -- the sentence in question is a reasonable summary of the main thesis of the whole entire book (as you could have rather easily ascertained with about three seconds of Google searching. If you want a page reference, it would be "passim". I fail to see what all this flailing around on your part has accomplished or was intended to accomplish. AnonMoos (talk) 21:36, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

New article: human sex ratio[edit]

If nobody has any strenuous objections, I will move some of this material in this article to human sex ratio which should then be a less confusing subarticle.

Please don't panic. All species where there are sexes have sex ratios, not only humans (anthropology). To concentrate on humans is anthropocentric, and I would say that anthropocentricism is not NPOV. There is a lot of very interesting theoretical and experimental work on sex ratios in non-human species. --I am not a dog (talk) 13:54, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

OK I have made human sex ratio. The next stage will be to remove information from this article, so it can be about sex ratios generally. That no doubt will cause some upset, so I shall leave it for tomorrow. I am not a dog (talk) 21:26, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
And now I have removed material from here (don't say I didn't warn you). It is still a bit disjointed but hopefully it is less so and thus can be tidied. I am not a dog (talk) 17:03, 16 April 2008 (UTC)


Nothing is said in the article about hermaphrodites. Which sex do they belong to? What percentage of society do they constitute? (talk) 21:50, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

This brings up the question of how sex ratios are determined. Is it based on a visual examination of genitalia or on a DNA/SRS test? Pendragon39 (talk) 17:37, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
It's presumably determined by birth registration records. I strongly doubt that the number of visbly-intersexed people at birth is enough to significantly affect overall sex-ratio statistics. AnonMoos (talk) 20:04, 4 January 2009 (UTC)


This article is clearly wrong about the at birth sex ratio of 210 girls to 100 boys given that that would mean that pretty soon there will be double the number of women as men in the world or that most girls die very quickly after birth. I checked its reputed source the cia world fact book: and it clearly does not say that. I could not find where it has global statistics on sex ratio but given that it lists most countries as having something like a ration of 1.05 male births to female births I do not see how a ration of 210 to 100 in the opposite direction globally could be possible. I have never edited wikipedia before and do not know where to find the actual global statistic so I am not going to change it but clearly someone with the proper information should or it should be deleted. It is clearly some form of vandalism or a huge typo. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:35, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Never mind it was just recent vandalism and i reverted the numbers back to what they were before. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Types of Sex Ratio[edit]

Anyone know whats up with this block? I tried editing it so that it appears as whoever wrote it intended, but it appears that there is a lot of german in there as well. I'm not sure what to do with it so i didn't edit it, but would urge someone who knows more to do so. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Sex ratio[edit]

s@@2222222222222222222222222222222222222222222 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Geodakyan's evolutionary theory of sex[edit]

Help required with Geodakyan's evolutionary theory of sex: the article of apparently fringe theory is based almost exclusively on primary sources and edited by a people with strong connection to the subject. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:12, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

The absent of South Sudan[edit]

All maps with the color black representing water are missing South Sudan's independency from Sudan, and shows it as a part of Sudan. — Preceding unsigned comment added by מנחם ברמן (talkcontribs) 16:05, 4 February 2017 (UTC)