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Tilting at Windmills

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February 10, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HAVE A DAUGHTER, BECOME A LIBERAL....Ebonya Washington of Yale University has found, unsurprisingly, that having daughters makes you more sensitive to women's issues, even if you're a congressman:

Washington analyzed the family composition of the 105th Congress (1997-98), as well as how the liberal National Organization for Women ranked each member based on their votes on 20 women's issues. The rating scale ranged from zero (consistently voted against the NOW position) to 100 (always voted in accord with NOW's position).

She found that legislators with all daughters have NOW scores that are 12 points higher than those with all sons. Among those with three children, "each daughter is associated with an increase of nearly 3 points," Washington said.

Her results held for both Democratic and Republican congressmen.

The excerpt above is from the Washington Post, but that's not where I found it. In this brave new world, I found it at Shakespeare's Sister, who found it from Feministing, who found it from the Kaiser Report, who found it from the Post. The circle will be complete, I suppose, if Dan Froomkin now notes that I've blogged about it.

The full report is here if you want to pay five bucks for it.

Kevin Drum 5:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (105)

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Comments

Did you know that Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian?

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

I was a liberal before I had two daughters. Does that make me a communist now?

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

craigie,

The exception that proves the rule !

"When women vote, Democrats win" - Democratic National Committee

Posted by: daCascadian on February 10, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

A friend of mine has 5 (count 'em) daughters. I should ask that bleeding heart for some money.

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised. As a father of two girls I get irritated with those who whine about Title IX hurting mens' sports in college, something I might not have thought about otherwise.

Posted by: Jim on February 10, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

Does the NOW rating drop after the daughters get married?

Posted by: B on February 10, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

There might be a blowback effect too. Both of my daughters are so liberal that sometimes I wish I was a staunch Republican. I have found that taking a nap gets rid of such undesirable yearnings very quickly.

Posted by: lib on February 10, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Not too surprising. To use craigie's example above, do you think Dick Cheney would be that open-minded about gay marriage if his own daughter wasn't a lesbian?

Posted by: Stefan on February 10, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I think the implied causation is questionable. I mean, whose to say that being liberal doesn't make you more likely to have daughters?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK
Ebonya Washington of Yale University has found, unsurprisingly, that having daughters makes you more sensitive to women's issues

If true, it makes one wonder what the Bush Administration's policies would like like if it weren't for Barbara and Jenna.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Also a father of 2 daughters. I feel I've actually become a bit more conservative on some issues.

In summary: If I had a son, I'd only have to worry about one prick .

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Two daughters, and one grand-daughter, but I have five sisters. Yes. Five sisters. Is it any wonder that my dad kept putting off retirement until we were down to two left at home? Then he came back ashore, but he kept a boat, and he stayed close enought to the water that he could flee estrogen surge-tides.

Posted by: Global Citizen on February 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think the implied causation is questionable. I mean, whose to say that being liberal doesn't make you more likely to have daughters?

Hmmm, isn't there some research about which sexual positions produce which gender of offspring? You may be onto something there...

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

I think the implied causation is questionable. I mean, whose to say that being liberal doesn't make you more likely to have daughters?
Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

That's crazy. How would that work? Some kind of micro-genetic telekinesis?

Much more likely that being a compassionate conservative means you put your infant daughters into a burlap bag full of rocks and toss them into a river. (On the way to an antiabortion protest).

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 10, 2006 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Huh. Cool.

I'm wondering how much of it is feminism trickling up--fathers believing that women don't want equality, and their daughters saying to them, "um, hell yes we do;"--and how much of it is feminism trickling down: fathers realizing that their daughters' lives will be better if they have more autonomy and equality.

Posted by: theorajones on February 10, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

That's crazy. How would that work? Some kind of micro-genetic telekinesis?

I was, of course, only kidding. But I do seem to recall something about the boy sperms having less stamina than the girl ones, so if you make it more difficult for the little guys, they poop out and you have a girl.

Or maybe I just imagined the whole thing. Clearly, it's time to go home for the day...

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, whose to say that being liberal doesn't make you more likely to have daughters?

Actually, there might be a kernel of truth here - liberals are more likely to be vegetarians than conservatives are, and vegetarians have slightly better odds of having a girl than a boy.

When I was procreating, back in the 80's, there was a book called "The Pre-Conception Gender Diet" A few people I knew followed it, and got the gender they wanted...(Even though the odds remained 50/50 at worst.)

Anyway, it might be a long way to go, but there might actually be some "there" there.

Posted by: Global Citizen on February 10, 2006 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

I've read the same thing, craigie. Certain sexual positions were supposed to give male sperm a better chance.

(The instruction book I used had 'pop-up' pages. Woo hoo!)

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on February 10, 2006 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

So the importation of Chinese girls for adoption should have a liberalizing effect on the US! (And a 'conservativizing' effect on the Chinese...)

Posted by: Preston on February 10, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Preston: Have you never met McAristotle? Oy Vey.

Posted by: Global Citizen on February 10, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

It worked that way in my family... my dad was a spoiled, sexist brat about a lot of things with my mom, but having his first two kids be daughters made him start thinking about how the world treats women (although not enough about his own marriage IMO). Probably my earliest memory of conflict with my dad was over a toy nurse's kit I wanted (hey, the lttle bag was bright red, not boring old black)-- he insisted that his daughter was going to be a doctor, not a nurse, and bought me the doctor's kit instead.

As it turned out, I am too lazy and too sensitive to smells to be in either profession, however.

Posted by: latts on February 10, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK
That's crazy. How would that work? Some kind of micro-genetic telekinesis?

I was joking, though I like some of the speculation it triggered.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK


The Preconception Gender Diet - Have a link on me.

Posted by: Global Citizen on February 10, 2006 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK


KEVIN DRUM: HAVE A DAUGHTER, BECOME A LIBERAL

And if you have neither son nor daughter and just, say, some cats, you become what? A wishy-washy, self-centered centrist?


Posted by: jayarbee on February 10, 2006 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

unsure as to whether that was supposed to be pro-feminist snark or not at the end of your post but maybe you should just expand your reading list.

Here's an article from the Times of London from LAST YEAR. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-18791-1957466-18791,00.html

It was also referenced from right-wing Steve Sailor on January 2 here: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2006/01/does-having-daughters-make-you-vote.html

The title of his blog post, you ask? how about "Does having daughters make you vote left?"

nuff said.

Posted by: Observer on February 10, 2006 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

...do you think Dick Cheney would be that open-minded about gay marriage if his own daughter wasn't a lesbian?

How do we explain Lynn's refusal to be converted to acceptance? Her own unfulfilled girl-on-girl fantasies, as detailed in that steamy novel she wrote? (I really have to track down a copy of that and read it for myself.)

I've read the same thing, craigie. Certain sexual positions were supposed to give male sperm a better chance.

I always assumed this was just something procreating lovers tell each other in an attempt to get hotter sex. I've always wished for twins, and I became suspicious when mr. shortstop straight-facedly insisted that fellatio provides the best chance of conceiving them.

Posted by: shortstop on February 10, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Osama_Been_Forgotten wrote: How would that work? Some kind of micro-genetic telekinesis?

In parapsychology the term used is "psychokinesis" (PK) rather than "telekinesis". The existence of micro-PK has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments such as those conducted for years at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory (a.k.a. PEAR), wherein a very large statistical database shows the ability of human subjects to influence the output of quantum-random event generators (REGs) by mental intention alone. I believe that PK experiments have also been done using biological entities as targets, but I'd have to go research the literature to get details of the experiments and their results.

I do recall reading of an experiment which used an apparatus in which heat lamps were switched on and off at random by a quantum random event generator. The baseline device produced the predicted random behavior, but when fertilized chicken eggs were placed under the heat lamps (i.e. the lamps provided warmth to incubate the eggs), the lamps were switched on more often than the predicted random amount, to a statistically significant degree.

I don't see any reason why it would not be possible to do a followup study that would compare the political orientation of parents before and after having daughters, to see if having a daughter changes their prior political views; or to look at the ratio of male/female offspring of parents who had different political orientations before their children were born, to see if cmdicely's tongue-in-cheek conjecture that liberals are more likely to have daughters than sons is supported by empirical evidence.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 10, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

So - my sister used to be in the Marine Corp, in a supporting role for a squadron of planes whose specialty was Electronic Warfare (jamming, etc.) - EW-A6b Prowlers.

The planes generate so much electromagnetic energy, the cockpits are encased in a fine gold mesh to act as a faraday cage to shunt this energy around them (instead of through them). Or maybe the faraday cage was for the equipment in the cockpit, leaving the pilots unprotected, because technically, the pilot would have to be surrounded on all sides, and there was no protection across the lexan canopy.

Anyway, over a period of 4 years, every pilot in the squadron conceived a male. That is, 12 out of 12 conceptions were boys. There was plenty of speculation about it being a side effect of being bathed in all that high energy electromagnetic fields and such.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 10, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

I mean, whose to say that being liberal doesn't make you more likely to have daughters?

Is it just me, or is the first time cmdicely was purposefully humorous? To be perfectly clear, I like it. I was just surprised.

Posted by: Edo on February 10, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry; Marine Corps. Freudian slip, I suppose.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on February 10, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK
Is it just me, or is the first time cmdicely was purposefully humorous?

Well, its certainly not the first time I've tried.

:(

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Step off the Dice. He lets a fine comedic line fly every now and then.

I admit I was surprised and amused when he turned out to be the man behind the PATRIOTMAN curtain (I think that's what he called it).

Posted by: shortstop on February 10, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

During college I was a Democrat.

In my mid-twenties I married, and had 3 kids by my early-thirties.

I switched to the GOP during that time period. Voted for Bush 41 twice, Dole, and Bush 43 twice.

My kids? All girls.

Posted by: BigRiver on February 10, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

One of the motivations for the research on micro-PK at the PEAR Lab was the realization that if, in fact, human beings are capable of influencing (intentionally or not) the behavior of sensitive microelectronic devices, particularly those that incorporate some sort of physically random number generation (such as with the quantum-random output of a noisy diode, as used in the REG devices at PEAR), that this could cause a lot of problems, and is something that engineers should be aware of.

Parapsychologist Dean Radin actually holds a patent on a PK based switch -- a device that detects anomalous variances from the expected random output of a REG source and opens or closes a switch accordingly. I don't think it has been incorporated into any actual applications yet, but in the not too distant future you may be able to buy a psychic garage door opener based on this device from Home Depot. You just concentrate on the garage door and think "Open" and the door will open .. at least it will open more often than predicted by chance.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 10, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

Voted for Bush 41 twice, Dole, and Bush 43 twice.

Ah, there's one person left in the U.S. who still openly admits this.

Posted by: shortstop on February 10, 2006 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely is often humorous. But his wit is very dry. He's such a brut.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 10, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

(smacking SecAn upside the head for that pun. But in a friendly way)

Posted by: shortstop on February 10, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well, its certainly not the first time I've tried.

my apologies. Besides, I resemble the remark: "he who laughs last thinks the slowest".

Posted by: Edo on February 10, 2006 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

USA PATRIOT™

named for the USA PATRIOT™ Act.

Speaking of which, Paul Pillar is clearly not a USA PATRIOT™.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 10, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Have a daughter become a liberal? Let's find out!,

Which Ken doll would you want your daughter to date?

http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/men/news/s/204/204056_barbies_ken_has_plastic_surgery.html

Posted by: cld on February 10, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, having sons makes you more sensitive to affirmative action discrimination against males and other anti-male aspects of feminism.

Posted by: Steve Sailer on February 10, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Alternatively, having sons makes you more sensitive

Only the pussies.

Posted by: Irony Man on February 10, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Is it still Liberal if you have daughters and you feel all young males should be castrated before they are allowed to date your daughters?

Posted by: murmeister on February 10, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

I guess Georgie Bush had boys did he? What happened to the theory there? Or are some people just assholes anyway no matter what nature intended?

Posted by: murmeister on February 10, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

So, is the difference in the male/female offspring ratio between R and D members of congress statistically significant?

Posted by: B on February 10, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

The paper is online at

http://www.stanford.edu/group/SITE/papers2005/Washington.05.pdf

Posted by: stefan on February 10, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely is often humorous. But his wit is very dry. He's such a brut.
Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 10, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

(smacking SecAn upside the head for that pun. But in a friendly way) Posted by: shortstop

No way! I sincerely believe his posts give off a scent of Hai Karate.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 10, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

So, is the difference in the male/female offspring ratio between R and D members of congress statistically significant? Posted by: B

No. But the pro-war Republicans are more likely to be bigger pussies.

(Sounded better inside my head.)

Posted by: Jeff II on February 10, 2006 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Is it still Liberal if you have daughters and you feel all young males should be castrated before they are allowed to date your daughters? Posted by: murmeister

Only if they are over 14 years of age.

Our daughter is being shipped off to an Eastern Orthodox convent in a remote corner of Greece when she's ready for junior high. She can come home when she's 21.

Posted by: Jeff II on February 10, 2006 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

This makes perfect sense...in the same way that many people are more sympathetic to homosexuals and gay rights if they have a gay relative...well, except for someone like Phyllis Schlafly...but hey, if you are batshit crazy, you tend to be like that...

Posted by: An Interested Party on February 10, 2006 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: I've always wished for twins

Have you always had masochistic tendencies?

and I became suspicious when mr. shortstop straight-facedly insisted that fellatio provides the best chance of conceiving them

Easy mistake - that's the cure for headaches.

Posted by: alex on February 10, 2006 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Alex:

The ol' high-protein tonsil wash is a noted cure-all for a host of mood disorders ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on February 10, 2006 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

I wanted a daughter first but...ten years and two sons later I can now be officially considered a liberal. Before little Alison Grace was born I was just a poser.

Posted by: elmo on February 10, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Now that I can look at the paper I find:

All members of congress
n=434
children are 51.0% female

Democrats
n=207
children are 53.4% female

Republicans
n=227
children are 49.5% female

Posted by: B on February 10, 2006 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

I've heard that during war or enviromental hard times, like needing to move the tribe group to new land, that the ratio of boys increased over the girls. During peace and prosperity there are more girls. Perhaps the added hormones of war and bad times favor males. Also comes in handy for more men to fight the war. I think this was a chinese report. mmmmm, sounds reasonable to me.

Posted by: artemus on February 10, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Voted for Bush 41 twice, Dole, and Bush 43 twice.

Bigriver,

Are you sure they're yours? (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

Lew

Posted by: Lew on February 10, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

Elmohammed

Posted by: elmo on February 10, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

observer,

"right-wing Steve Sailor" isn't a sufficient description. more accurate would be "pseudo-scientific white supremacist Steve Sailer"

Posted by: theo on February 10, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

and I became suspicious when mr. shortstop straight-facedly insisted that fellatio provides the best chance of conceiving them.

Men know best about this stuff. Trust us. We're doctors.

Posted by: craigie on February 10, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

What the hell is a "womens issue"?

Leave it to this Blog to except the word of NOW on what is truely in womens interests.
And then ALSO except some spurious conclusions extrapalated from data based on those conclusions.

Hey I got a slideruler...
What do you want a bet there is a correlations between the size of ones family and a congressmens voting record according to "focus on the Family's rankings on "family issues"? I swear...the pap some people believe...

Lies, Damn Lies, and statistics.... W.C.

Posted by: Fitz on February 10, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

As is often the case with scholarly papers, there is a free version on the web: http://www.stanford.edu/group/SITE/papers2005/Washington.05.pdf

Posted by: Ken d. on February 11, 2006 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Osama-been-forgotten~ My husband was a Prowler pilot (navy though) so it's not the first time I've heard that ancedote. I've always discarded it as pilot-lore since we have 2 children, a girl and a boy. After reading your post, I started thinking about the other children born to squadronmates while we were part of the Prowler community. Our daughter is the only girl I can recall... and she was actually conceived when he had just begun training in the EA-6b... so maybe there really is something to it!

Posted by: teachpeace on February 11, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

But I do seem to recall something about the boy sperms having less stamina than the girl ones, so if you make it more difficult for the little guys, they poop out and you have a girl.

Indeed, Those 'y' sperms are lighter and faster to target but just don't have the stamina. The 'x' sperms take their time (relatively speaking) but are longer lasting.

So sex three or four days before ovulation is more likely to produce a girl (odds something like 65/35 if 3 days before IIRC) Sex at the time, a boy.

Also, something about high status men more likely to conceive sons.

Hmm... and I guess postions could come into play too. I think this needs some trialing...

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 11, 2006 at 2:44 AM | PERMALINK

Um... not conceive but uh, have.

Posted by: snicker-snack on February 11, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know how to cross reference data on children with political affiliation with US census data? I'd be interested in whether Republicans have fewer daughters in the larger population.

Posted by: B on February 11, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

No...but I got a slideruler

And i would be interested to know if liberal bloggers are more likley to have aborted daughters after Bush won the 94 election????


Fascinating....total B.S. & irrelvant and un-correlated (much less non-causal) but never the less maybe someone will blog about it at Washington monthly..

Posted by: Fitz on February 11, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist >"...The existence of micro-PK has been demonstrated in laboratory experiments such as those conducted for years at the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Laboratory (a.k.a. PEAR)..."

And, last I checked (some time ago), the biggest deviation from random was on September 11, 2001

here`s PEAR

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." - Galileo Galilei

Posted by: daCascadian on February 11, 2006 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

what a sophisticated, delightfully intelligent and entertaining comment/thread. thanks to all participants!

Posted by: brkily on February 11, 2006 at 5:29 AM | PERMALINK

"a quantum random event generator"

Wow. Now there's a concept!


Agreed, brkily.

Posted by: Ace Franze on February 11, 2006 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

Uh, Osama...

A little brush-up on human reproduction might be in order.

Exposing women to electro-magnetic forces would not in any way alter the simple biological fact that eggs carry only XX.

Gender is determined by the sperm - since only sperm can supply a Y chromosome.

Many thousands of women, Henry VIII's wives for example, have lost their lives over this little issue. Millions the world over are still persecuted and stimatized for 'failing' to produce male offspring.

Posted by: CFShep on February 11, 2006 at 8:38 AM | PERMALINK

What the hell is a "womens issue"?

First, let's be clear - you do know what "women" are, right?

Posted by: Irony Man on February 11, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Having a daughter has made me more conservative. Being sensitive to "women's issues" and being a liberal are not mutually inclusive, however being "sensitive" to the point of self destruction and being a liberal are.

Posted by: Jay on February 11, 2006 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

I must condition my earlier response. I am speaking of those liberals that actually carried their daughters full term and did not abort.

Posted by: Jay on February 11, 2006 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

Jay has invented a term new to set theory: "mutually inclusive".

This is part of that conservative fuzzy math, right?

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 11, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Perhaps the added hormones of war and bad times favor males. Also comes in handy for more men to fight the war. I think this was a chinese report. mmmmm, sounds reasonable to me.

Congratulations, artemus! You've just demonstrated your qualifications to become Bush's new Presidential Adviser on Science.

Posted by: brooksfoe on February 11, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

CF Shep,

Well, the electro-magnetic shield seemed to work for Jor-el and me.

Posted by: Lara Lor-van on February 11, 2006 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Drexel Hill Dimwit, otherwise known as rdw, claims he has four daughters, so hmmmmmmmmmmm???

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 11, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Reading this thread, it's amazing to me how easy it is for liberals to characterize our President with a curse word. I would never have done that to President Clinton, regardless of how I felt about his politics.

"I guess Georgie Bush had boys did he? What happened to the theory there? Or are some people just assholes anyway no matter what nature intended?"

Or how nasty libs can be:

"Much more likely that being a compassionate conservative means you put your infant daughters into a burlap bag full of rocks and toss them into a river. (On the way to an antiabortion protest)."

Posted by: sportsfan079 on February 11, 2006 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

I have a daughter and I'm absolutely terrified of the kind of moral nihilsm, liberal feminism tries to teach in the name of rights, equality and blaming others.

If she shows any signs of adopting the abortion is guiltless, sluttiness of Americans. I'd consider shipping her back to Malaysia, and have her tubes permanently tied. Better that, than the fetus death cult Americans have become.

Posted by: McA on February 11, 2006 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

I've heard that during war or enviromental hard times, like needing to move the tribe group to new land, that the ratio of boys increased over the girls. During peace and prosperity there are more girls. Perhaps the added hormones of war and bad times favor males. Also comes in handy for more men to fight the war. I think this was a chinese report. mmmmm, sounds reasonable to me.
Posted by: artemus on February 10, 2006 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Artemus,

The Chinese tradition values boy children over girl children. When hard times of famine or war disrupt the regular supply of resources, the Chinese abandoned their little girls. Hence, the ratio of little boys to girls in hard times would increase. This is not to say that there was no heartbreak in the abandonment, but Chinese tradition has it to be their version of conventional wisdom. China is changing, but much of the nation still clings to the old ways.

Posted by: rainyday on February 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

China is changing, but much of the nation still clings to the old ways.

Posted by: rainyday on February 11, 2006 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

They actually jail people for that sort of thing.

Intresting piece of trivial pursuit. It is technically illegal for a doctor to tell you the sex of the baby. Too many people had abortions until they had boy children. Even Communist China (land of the firing squad and automatic organ donation for executed persons) realised something bad for society was going on...

Posted by: McA on February 11, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that having a daughter makes you more liberal. For example, I had McA's daughter -- once in the car, and once bent over the sofa -- and I am quite liberal. Come to think of it, so was she ...

Posted by: Pat on February 11, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

This is the first piece of info that I am actually glad to hear out of you. If it is true.

Thanks.

Posted by: rainyday on February 11, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have dial-up. I post slow. That was meant for McA.

Posted by: rainyday on February 11, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK
Exposing women to electro-magnetic forces would not in any way alter the simple biological fact that eggs carry only XX.

Sure. OTOH, which sperm gets to the egg can be influenced by factors inside the woman's body (the one I've seen identified most is pH in the environment the sperm swim through to get there, though I forget whether higher pH favors X or Y). Now, I've certainly never seen anything directly linked to past EMF exposure, but indirect linkages aren't impossible.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 11, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK
If she shows any signs of adopting the abortion is guiltless, sluttiness of Americans. I'd consider shipping her back to Malaysia, and have her tubes permanently tied.

Well, you've certainly got the "women=property" thing of the American Far Right down pat. Congratulations!

Posted by: cmdicely on February 11, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

For example, I had McA's daughter -- once in the car, and once bent over the sofa -- and I am quite liberal. Come to think of it, so was she ...

Posted by: Pat on February 11, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

She's 15 months old, you sick fuck. Hope you die and burn in hell.

Posted by: McA on February 11, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

I pray that McA's daughter doesn't accept the anti-Biblical marital values of her father with his several divorces. Then we can start worrying about her "sluttiness."

Reading this thread, it's amazing to me how easy it is for liberals to characterize our President with a curse word.

It is easy, but why limit this observation to liberals? I could never come close to matching the quality epithets the true conservatives I know use to describe Smirky.

Pat, you raunchy so-and-so, you crack me up.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
Intresting piece of trivial pursuit. It is technically illegal for a doctor to tell you the sex of the baby. Too many people had abortions until they had boy children. Even Communist China (land of the firing squad and automatic organ donation for executed persons) realised something bad for society was going on...

Communist China realized that sex-selection abortion (encouraged not only by tradition but the Chinese government's own draconian population control policies) was encouraging emigration because of gender imbalance. It didn't adopt the policy out of some kind of benevolent concern for the unborn, but out of -- like most other Chinese domestic policies -- concern for ability to maintain iron control over the loyalty of the citizenry.

Don't try to sell simple authoritarian pragmatism as compassion.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 11, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

15 months old?!?! Good God, someone has had sex with McA since we've known him? I figured all these abandoned children of his were from a previous era, when his illness wasn't quite so advanced and he could still convince someone to mate with him.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2006 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20050126.html

Here's the source. I'm sure there is some practical reason as well. You would be suprised at China, in that whole mess they call the Communist party there are some people who believe in building a better world. There are some very educated and powerful women in China.

Posted by: McA on February 11, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gee McA, why don't you jump off your moral high horse just make offensive posts like mine against the law? Maybe amend the cartoon ban you enlightened MALAYSIANS just passed?

Posted by: Pat on February 11, 2006 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and, McA, if I do die and burn in hell, hell will probably look a lot like the backwards ass crack you call a country.

Posted by: Pat on February 11, 2006 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

You would be suprised at China, in that whole mess they call the Communist party there are some people who believe in building a better world.

Most authoritarian regimes are not run by stereotypical evil master villains, but instead tend to be run largely by people who think of themselves as building a better world.

They differ from free countries primarily in that, in the latter, the people running the show have realized that part of building a better world is maintaining and enabling freedom in all but the most necessary areas, rather than compelling everyone to do what you think is best.

So, no, I wouldn't be surprised at all that many of the authoritarians in the Chinese Communist Party (or George Bush, or Osama bin Laden) think of themselves as working to make a better world.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 11, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

And how many of the men really care that MEN make the laws on if and how long a woman should carry a fetus. Last time I looked, the woman, her significant other AND maybe a doctor should be those making that decision.....not a geriatric old fart who wouldn't have carried a fetus if he were capable of doing so.
Even I shouldn't have a say on if or how long my girls should. What makes these old farts any more important than their mom?????? There are way too many opportunities to prevent the pregnancy in the first place and only the woman knows IF she wants to keep it in if those plans occasionally fail. BUT failure to take advantage of the preventions shouldn't be a blank check for some to use abortion as their primary form of birth control!

Posted by: qat on February 11, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Have often wondered if only my son had coupled with Wonder Woman instead of that tramp, Lois Lane, what would have been the progeny?

Posted by: Lara Lor-van on February 11, 2006 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

TTP/Lara: A good friend of ours has what we call "tea parties." These are little minute- or two-long monologues he puts on, taking the roles of various real and fictional characters. For example, once we were at the Charles Krug (I know, I know) winery in Napa Valley, and our friend was heard to mutter, "Sharrles Kroog, Sharrles Kroog, I dayspize yoor name." When questioned, he explained he was entertaining himself by pretending to be a French vintner bested by Monsieur Krug in an international winemaking competition. Hmmmm.

Please take it as the highest compliment when I say I find your own tea parties as entertaining as our friend's.

Posted by: shortstop on February 11, 2006 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Have enjoyed several bottles of Krug in my time - Don't know about the political angle, but, sometime, check out the granddaughter, Andrea, of another California wine family, the Parduccis.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 11, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

On the sperm topic, not that it actually has anything to do w/this thread

"Researchers have identified a key component of the mechanism sperm use to speed up their progress to the egg. The chemical change converts the sperm's tail motion from a steady swimming undulation to a whip-cracking snap..."

from the BBC

"...the art of life is more like navigation than warfare..." - Alan Watts

Posted by: daCascadian on February 11, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

No...but I got a slideruler - Fitz

I read your posts Fitz and what you need is a spell checker, a sliderule isn't going to make you sound any more intelligent. As a matter of fact, you might want to let the sliderule write the rest of your posts for you, it couldn't do worse.

Or how nasty libs can be:

"Much more likely that being a compassionate conservative means you put your infant daughters into a burlap bag full of rocks and toss them into a river. (On the way to an antiabortion protest)." - sportsfan079

Okay, it may have been distasteful but it was fucking hilarious! Imagining Republican hypocrites disposing of their female progeny like unwanted puppies for fear it might turn them liberal? Classic! I can see why a liberal saying it would so deeply offend you but I wonder - did you miss this nugget from your conservative kin Fitz:

And i would be interested to know if liberal bloggers are more likley to have aborted daughters after Bush won the 94 election????

Not sure EXACTLY what he meant by this but it is no doubt his attempt to paint all liberals as evil pro-choice fetus eating baby killers. But then I keep forgetting, ugliness from Republicans is normal and nothing to be offended by. Like a moral tourettes syndrome.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on February 12, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

Sure. OTOH, which sperm gets to the egg can be influenced by factors inside the woman's body (the one I've seen identified most is pH in the environment the sperm swim through to get there, though I forget whether higher pH favors X or Y). Now, I've certainly never seen anything directly linked to past EMF exposure, but indirect linkages aren't impossible.
Posted by: cmdicely

No problem with that. Not impossible. Neither is having 12 female pilots flip a coin and have them all land face up. Easily possible however unlikely.

In the instance cited by Osama you'd also have to control for em and other environmental issues affecting the male partners of the pilots, right? Unless they all had the same partner? At approximately the same time, too?

There are undoubtedly a number of factors which may somewhat tip the balance favoring y bearing over x bearing sperm, but as a general proposition it's still only the male bearer of both x and y chromosomes whose contribution determines gender.

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