Maternal Height and the Sex Ratio

This paper tests the generalized Trivers Willard hypothesis in the spirit of Kanazawa (2005), which predicts that parents with heritable traits that increase the relative reproductive success of males compared to females will have relatively more male than female offspring. We test whether taller mothers are more likely to have a male first-born using data on 400,302 mothers in a sample of Demographic Health and Surveys (DHS) from 46 developing countries. Despite using a plethora of statistical models that take into account the multi-level structure of the data, we find no strong evidence in favor of the hypothesis between and within communities, as well as on a country-by-country basis. Conversely, Andrews (1989)'s inverse power calculations suggest that the absence of a statistically small effect cannot be rejected.

Arcand J.L., Rieger M., (2012) "Maternal Height and the Sex Ratio," Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, vol. 10(2), pp. 169-181.

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