A study that includes the information of more than half a million people has discovered that male genes dictate the gender of their babies.
One of the first things we think of when we discover we have a baby on the way is whether it is going to be a boy or a girl. Also, one of the first questions we get asked is "are you going to find out the sex?" Well yes, we will have to eventually. Joking aside what people obviously mean when they ask that question is are you going to find out early or wait until the baby arrives.
Some couples start totting up the number of men and women in their respective families in order to make an educated guess as to what gender the baby might be. It turns out that's not as silly an idea as it seems. Research recently conducted at Newcastle University has discovered that the number of men and women in your family tree might well dictate the gender of your babies, but only if you're a male.
Research scientist Corry Gellatly has determined that men inherit a tendency to have more sons or more daughters from their own parents, reports Science Daily. The research to back up this discovery is pretty darn extensive too. The study included 927 family trees containing the information of more than 500,000 people and dates all the way back to the 1600s.
While the premise can get pretty complex, let us explain it in extremely simple terms. If a man has more brothers, he is more likely to have sons. If he has more sisters, he is more likely to have daughters. It all depends on a yet-to-be-named gene which is carried and passed on by both men and women but has no effect on females. The above diagram gives a more detailed idea of how it works.
This discovery also explains why more boys or girls were born during certain times in history. For instance, there was an increase in boys born directly after World War I. That's due to men with more sons having a higher chance of seeing those sons return from the war. However, men with fewer sons and more daughters were more likely to have lost their only sons during the war, hence there being a higher number of men with brothers than with sisters thus fathering more sons. A cool discovery, and clearly one that helps keep the number of men and women on Earth relatively equal.