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Gender Ratios Influenced By Many Factors

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Gender Ratios Influenced By Many Factors

Wellington, Sept 29 NZPA - Researchers are uncertain why some infertility treatments alter the gender ratio of boys and girls among the subsequent births.

Michael Chapman of the University of New South Wales said it could be because male embryos may in some way be better equipped to survive the process.

Laboratory methods may be responsible, particularly the substance in which embryos develop in the test tube, he said.

Prof Chapman is working with clinics to identify the type of formula used in the study period.

He told the ABC that the research re-opened debate about the ethics of gender selection for social reasons rather than to avoid an inherited disease.

"There is a significant community groundswell that it should be permitted since we have the technology," he said.

Separate to fertility treatments, other factors have been recognised as affecting the gender ratio in birth rates.

Research has shown stress on the mother -- such as war or famine -- results in a greater proportion of boys being born.

And Auckland University research on cows has suggested that a female mammal's testosterone level might predispose her eggs to accept sperm carrying "male" genders.

Other research has shown that airline pilots, astronauts, deep sea divers, anaesthetists, orthopaedic surgeons, truck drivers tend to have more daughters, possibly because men whose occupations required them to be totally in control tended to prefer women who were non-dominant, and those women have daughters.

NZPA

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