A statistical analysis of the effect of warfare on the human secondary sex ratio

J. Graffelman, R.F. Hoekstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Many factors have been hypothesized to affect the human secondary sex ratio (the annual percentage of males among all live births), among them race, parental ages, and birth order. Some authors have even proposed warfare as a factor influencing live birth sex ratios. The hypothesis that during and shortly after periods of war the human secondary sex ratio is higher has received little statistical treatment. In this paper we evaluate the war hypothesis using 3 statistical methods: linear regression, randomization, and time-series analysis. Live birth data from 10 different countries were included. Although we cannot speak of a general phenomenon, statistical evidence for an association between warfare and live birth sex ratio was found for several countries. Regression and randomization test results were in agreement. Time-series analysis showed that most human sex-ratio time series can be described by a common model. The results obtained using intervention models differed somewhat from results obtained by regression methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-445
JournalHuman biology
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A statistical analysis of the effect of warfare on the human secondary sex ratio'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this