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Grech, V.* ; Zammit, D.* ; Scherb, H.

Effects of stressful events in France (1968) and Japan (1995) on the sex ratio at birth.

J. Biosoc. Sci. 49, 664-674 (2017)
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Open Access Green
Males are usually born in excess of females. The sex ratio at birth (SR) is often expressed as the ratio of male to total births. A wide variety of factors have been shown to influence SR, including terrorist attacks, which have been shown to reduce SR. This paper reviews the effects on SR outcomes of the stressful events in France in 1968 (in association with the student and worker riots) and in Japan following the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult's attack on the Tokyo subway using sarin nerve gas in 1995. Both countries displayed seasonal variation in SR. France exhibited a decline in SR in 1968 (p=0.042), with a particularly strong dip in May of that year (p=0.015). For Japan, there was no statistically significant dip for 1995 but there was a significant dip in June of that year (p=0.026). The SR dips follow catastrophic or tragic events if these are perceived to be momentous enough by a given populace. It is believed that SR slumps may be caused by population stress, which is known to lead to the culling of frail/small male fetuses. It has been observed that these fluctuations are comparable in intensity to a substantial proportion of quoted values for perinatal mortality, potentially making this a public health issue.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0021-9320
e-ISSN 1469-7599
Quellenangaben Volume: 49, Issue: 5, Pages: 664-674 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Cambridge Univ. Press
Publishing Place Cambridge
Reviewing status