Document Type

Review Article


This article deals with the problem of the causes of the variation of sex ratio (proportion male) at birth. This problem is common to a number of areas in biology and medicine, for example, obstetrics, neurology/psychiatry, parasitology, virology, oncology, and teratology. It is established that there are significantly biased, but unexplained, sex ratios in each of these fields. Yet workers in them (with the possible exception of virology) have regarded the problem as a minor loose end, irrelevant to the field’s major problems. However, as far as I know, no one has previously noted that unexplained biased sex ratios occur, and thus pose (perhaps similar) problems, in all these fields. Here it is suggested that similar sorts of solutions apply in each. Further research is proposed for testing each solution. If the argument here is substantially correct across this range of topics, it may lead to an improved understanding not only of sex ratio but also of some of the pathologies in these specialties.