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The work by Corry Gellatly, a research scientist at the university,
has shown that men inherit a tendency to have more sons or
more daughters from their parents. This means that a man with
many brothers is more likely to have sons, while a man with
many sisters is more likely to have daughters.
The research involved a study of 927 family trees containing
information on 556,387 people from North America and Europe
going back to 1600.
"The family tree study showed that whether you’re likely to have
a boy or a girl is inherited. We now know that men are more
likely to have sons if they have more brothers but are more
likely to have daughters if they have more sisters. However, in
women, you just can’t predict it," Mr Gellatly explains.
Men determine the s*x of a baby depending on whether their
man-fluid is carrying an X or Y chromosome. An X chromosome
combines with the mother’s X chromosome to make a baby girl
(XX) and a Y chromosome will combine with the mother’s to
make a boy (XY).
The Newcastle University study suggests that an as-yet
undiscovered gene controls whether a man’s man-fluid contains
more X or more Y chromosomes, which affects the s*x of his
children. On a larger scale, the number of men with more X
man-fluid compared to the number of men with more Y man-fluid
affects the s*x ratio of children born each year.