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THE CATEGORIES OF EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE HYPOTHESIS THAT MAMMALIAN SEX RATIOS AT BIRTH ARE CAUSALLY RELATED TO THE HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS OF BOTH PARENTS AROUND THE TIME OF CONCEPTION

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 December 2010

WILLIAM H. JAMES
Affiliation:
The Galton Laboratory, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, UK

Summary

This note categorizes the evidence for the hypothesis that mammalian offspring sex ratios (proportions male) are causally related to the hormone levels of both parents around the time of conception. Most of the evidence may be acknowledged to be correlational and observational. As such it might be suspected of having been selected; or of having been subject to other forms of bias or confounding; or, at any rate, of being inadequate as a firm basis for causal inference. However, there are other types of evidence that are not vulnerable to these types of criticism. These are from the following sources: (1) previously neglected data from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia; (2) fulfilled predictions; (3) genetics; and (4) a network of logically (mathematically) related propositions, for some of which there is overwhelming empirical evidence. It is suggested that this variety of evidence confers greater overall credibility on the hypothesis than would be the case if all the evidence were of the same observational/correlational status. This observational/correlational evidence is tabulated to illustrate its consistency.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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THE CATEGORIES OF EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE HYPOTHESIS THAT MAMMALIAN SEX RATIOS AT BIRTH ARE CAUSALLY RELATED TO THE HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS OF BOTH PARENTS AROUND THE TIME OF CONCEPTION
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THE CATEGORIES OF EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE HYPOTHESIS THAT MAMMALIAN SEX RATIOS AT BIRTH ARE CAUSALLY RELATED TO THE HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS OF BOTH PARENTS AROUND THE TIME OF CONCEPTION
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THE CATEGORIES OF EVIDENCE RELATING TO THE HYPOTHESIS THAT MAMMALIAN SEX RATIOS AT BIRTH ARE CAUSALLY RELATED TO THE HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS OF BOTH PARENTS AROUND THE TIME OF CONCEPTION
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