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Why Do We Have More Boys Than Girls?

Most human parents-to-be assume that the sex of their child comes down to a flip of the
怀男孩或女孩的几率是平等的 但实际上
chromosomal coin, with an equal chance of conceiving a boy or girl. But in reality,
几率并不平均——每出生100个女孩 世界多了106个男孩
the odds aren’t even – for every 100 girls born, the world gains about 106 baby boys.
目前 那个扭曲的线别比造就了全球每年大约1000万多出来的男孩儿
Currently, that skewed sex ratio comes out to roughly 10 million more baby boys than
girls born worldwide each year. There are some countries where human meddling stacks
这个几率 使其对男孩来说更高 但那并没有解释
the odds even higher in favor of boys, but that doesn’t explain the fixed odds everywhere
各地这个差别的原因 本来男女比是由大自然母亲操控的
else. The intrinsic boy/girl ratio is rigged by Mother Nature.
事实上 它的操纵比现在的出生率更剧——人们怀孕得到了
In fact, it’s even more rigged than birth rates show – human conception results in
每100个女性受精卵比150个男性受精卵 但那有一个非常不幸的原因
about 150 male zygotes for every 100 females! But there’s a rather tragic reason for this
big biological boy-bias early on: male fetuses are much more likely to be miscarried or stillborn
than female fetuses, and boys that do make out of the womb suffer more fatal diseases,
承受了更多的致死风险 比女性更容易成为暴力的猎物
take more mortal risks, and fall prey to more violence than girls. So by the time kids grow
所以当孩子们长大到了做父母的年龄 男女比大约为1:1
up and reach baby-making age, the ratio of males to females is just about 1 to 1.
But the likelihood of a boy even making it to birth is also influenced by his mom’s
怀孕时生活环境的影响 例如 当一个大饥荒袭击了中国 在60年代早期
living conditions during pregnancy. For example, when a massive famine struck China in the
early 1960s, the relative likelihood of having a son suddenly dropped – until the famine
结束 而美国亿万富豪家里出生的男性比平均比例要高
ended. And male Americans born to billionaires seem to have higher than average odds of fathering
莫名其妙的 女性在困难时期压迫了男孩儿在子宫中的存活
sons. Somehow, female biology suppresses boys’ survival in the womb during tough times and
boosts it when times are good.
我们在其它哺乳动物中也看到了相同的现象:当资源稀少时 妈妈
We’ve seen the same pattern in other mammals, too: when resources are scarce, mothers give
比正常的时候生出了更少的雄性 当资源充足时 她们生出了更多
birth to fewer males than normal; when resources are plentiful, they bear more.
The best explanation we have for this has to do with sex — the other kind. In biological
在生物学术语上 交配的全部目标是为了繁殖——将你的基因传递给
terms, the whole goal of copulation is to reproduce — to pass down your genes to someone
某日能继续传递下去的某个人 雌性后代几乎可以保证繁殖
who will someday pass them on again. Female offspring are almost guaranteed to reproduce,
无论有没有饥荒 因为雄性哺乳动物总是想要交配
famine or no famine, because male mammals are pretty much always willing to mate. Males,
另一方面 雄性必须为了交配特权而争斗 ——一个营养足够的大个子
on the other hand, have to compete for mating privileges – a well-nurtured hunk has a good
与许多雌性交配的机会 而一个因饥荒而虚弱的雄性则可能
chance of mating with lots of females, while a male weakened by famine might not score
at all.
So male offspring are a bigger risk in general – at all stages they’re more likely to
而即便他们活下来了 他们可能无法繁殖 但当过上好日子时 男孩
die, and even if they live they might not reproduce. But when times are good, boys potential
可能生很多很多孩子 让他们成为更值得承担的生物学风险
to father lots and lots of babies make them a biological risk worth taking.