Mrs Bennet may have lamented having five daughters and no son in Pride and Prejudice, but it appears that Lizzy and her sisters would be unlikely to produce a similar set of children: research suggests having multiple offspring of the same sex does not run in the family. In the largest study of its kind, researchers have found that whether a family is dominated by boys or girls — or has an equal mix — is simply down to chance. The team say the new findings scotch — at least for humans — a long-held theory that the sex-ratio of offspring is not random and that biases are heritable. But, he added, the idea had problems. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B , an international team of researchers report how they scrutinised records for all people born in Sweden in or later and had at least one child before Overall, the study included more than 6. The team then carried out an analysis to explore whether first cousins tended to be of the same sex. The results reveal that there is no such link — a result that held even when the team looked only at first-born children. However, looking within a nuclear family of parents and children, the team found that families with just two children tended to have a boy and a girl — a split that occurred more often than expected by chance — while families with more children tended to have a skew towards either boys or girls. This, the team said, appears to be down to parents calling time on having more children once they have the family makeup they desire, and continuing to have children until then: indeed further analysis showed that it was not possible to predict the sex of a child based on the sex of its older siblings alone — in other words, without knowing the family size.
Gender marketing and its legacy
Friends and family may point out signs of having a girl or boy, but most of these will probably be based on folklore rather than science. This article discusses some of the traditionally held signs that someone is having a girl, as well as whether they have any scientific evidence to support them. Some people think that severe morning sickness is a sign of having a girl. A study found that women carrying girls experienced more inflammation when their immune systems were exposed to bacteria compared to those carrying boys.
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Sexual activity between a year-old woman and a year-old boy resulted in the woman being sentenced in the Dunedin District Court this week, convicted of having sexual connection with a young person. She was sentenced to six months' community detention curfewed 6pm Fridays to 6am Mondays , and 12 months' intensive supervision with three-monthly judicial monitoring. Conditions of the sentence include the requirement for her not to have contact with any person aged under Reviewing the facts, Judge Michael Turner said Bambery and the victim met several years before the offending.