female:male ratio in K-3 kids

Hank Hilp hhilp at crl.com
Fri Jan 12 04:02:03 EST 1996

mcb10 at cornell.edu (Peggy Barr) wrote:

>Hello all,
>I have been following this news group for about 6 weeks and have enjoyed
>several of the discussions.  I think this may be a good forum to throw out
>a question to the moms out there.
>I have a 5 year old daughter in kindergarten in a somewhat rural school
>district.  There are 4 kindergarten classes, each with 22 or 23 children. 
>In all these classes, there are only 5 to 6 girls and 16 to 17 boys.  I
>mentioned this to a friend who has a boy in 1st grade in another local
>school district, and she said that the ratio was similar in her son's
>class.  Another friend has the same sort of ratio in her daughter's
>preschool class.  Is this a local phenomenon, or are you seeing this in
>your kid's classes?  What's going on here?  I tried to get birth
>statistics from the county health department but they didn't have them.  I
>am now waiting on statistics from the NYS Health Department.  At this
>point, I view this as a curiosity, but I wonder if we should be getting
It is true that more males are conceived at the time of conception.
More male zygotes and fetuses die.  Thus, the gender (sex) ratio at
birth is usually about 50/50.  I agree with the previous message that
maybe today's mothers have better nuitition/health allowing males to
survive until birth.

There is another theory that could shed some light on this phenomenon.
There has been research on monkeys to indicate that gender ratios are
related to status hiearchies.  Monkeys have societies which are rigid
dominance hierarchies.  Females obtain a rank from birth and keep that
rank for life in they remain in the same social group (and they most
always do).  Research on several populations indicate that dominant
females have more sons than daughters.  Dominant females lead a
relaxed life, whil lower ranking females are continuously under more
stress.  The low ranking females must be more vigilant to move out of
the way of more dominant monkeys.

Perhaps human mothers who have more sons are less stressed than
mothers who tend to have more daughters.

Ph.D in sociobiology
in Danville, CA.

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