Why we are having a boy

I really liked the book Freakonomics, so I follow the authors’ blog, Freakonomics.  I also find genetics fascinating, so this post caught my eye: Why Do Beautiful Women Sometimes Marry Unattractive Men?.  Taking it all with a grain of salt it makes for some fun reading.

Selection pressure means when parents have traits they can pass on that are better for boys than for girls, they are more likely to have boys. Such traits include large size, strength and aggression, which might help a man compete for mates. On the other hand, parents with heritable traits that are more advantageous to girls are more likely to have daughters.

And it goes on to say that beautiful parents are more likely to have girls because being beautiful is a bigger advantage to girls.  And engineers and mathmaticians are more likely to have boys because it’s a bigger advantage to a boy to have those talents.  So, again, taking it with a grain of salt (or perhaps a shaker of salt!), I figure that since Frank and I are both engineering types and Frank is definitely big and strong, we were destined to have a boy!

(So to the answer to the blog’s title, why do beautiful women marry unattractive men?  According to this theory it’s because there are more beautiful women in the world because beautiful people tend to have girls just like strong people tend to have boys.  Don’t forget that grain of salt. 🙂


3 Replies to “Why we are having a boy”

  1. I’m an engineer and a boy and it would have been hard to convince me in college, with all of my stellar dating prospects, that there was a bigger advantage for “boy engineers” than “girl engineers”.
    Anyway, some salt for my wounds.

  2. Gilbert, you had another problem in college called “supply and demand.” Maybe you should have tried being an engineer at a liberal arts school – they typically have more women than men!

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