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August 5 2013

More girls born in Japan after quake skews sex ratio


HERE come the girls. Fewer boys than girls were born in the months after the huge earthquake struck Japan in March 2011.

Ralph Catalano of the University of California in Berkeley and colleagues examined hospital records of births in Japan between 2006 and the end of 2011. After the quake, births in areas closest to the epicentre were more likely to be girls, but provinces farther out showed no gender bias. About 2.2 per cent fewer boys were born in the most damaged areas than expected.

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