female:male ratio in K-3 kids

Linden Higgins linden at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU
Fri Jan 12 11:20:57 EST 1996

>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.

Except - the sex ratio of the offspring of females from different points in
the heirarchy depends on the species.  For instance, in the baboons studied
by Jeanne Altman, females inheret their mother's rank, in order of their
own birth.  High ranking females have female offspring, low-ranking females
have male offspring that go off and can "fight" their way up male
heirarchies in other tribes.  However, even among baboon species there is a
lot of variation in the structure of the tribal hierarchies, and thus of
the stability of female offspring's "inheretence" (excuse spelling - I just
mailed a grant proposal & my fingers are dissociated....).

By the way, so far as I know they still don't know how the females control
the sex of their offspring, even in J. Altman's well studied tribes.

Linden Higgins, Ph.D.
Dept. of Zoology,
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX  78712
linden at mail.utexas.edu

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