The Unintended Consequence of Mass Layoffs: Fewer Boys Being Born

Here's a rather unexpected result of mass layoffs and high unemployment: the stress causes pregnant women to spontaneously abort more males, thus contributing to future gender gap.

To our ancient ancestors, those signs would presumably be signals of impending drought or other natural disaster, which would indicate a coming food scarcity. [Ralph] Catalano and colleagues concluded the closest thing we have today is the announcement of mass layoffs at major employers, which impacts “the degree to which the larger population perceives a threat to its economic security.”

Such threats are bad news to small male fetuses because “a relatively large fraction” of them fall near “a critical rank below which gestations spontaneously end,” the researchers explain. If they are born, these small males are more likely to die than larger infants and females of equivalent size.

The researchers examined California’s ratio of male to female births from mid-1995 to the end of 2007 and compared it to the federal Labor Department’s monthly statistics on mass layoffs in the state. The government reports a mass layoff has taken place when 50 or more people file for unemployment insurance from a single company over five weeks.

After doing some complex calculations, they estimated that news of impending mass layoffs “predicted the loss of 3,090 males in utero” during the 61 months (out of the 141 they examined) in which unemployment claims exceeded the expected number. - Thanks Julia Monti!

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

This article is quiet true. In the past year or so many people I know have had babies and out about 20 pregnancy's I there has only ben 1 or 2 boys the resy all girls. crazy
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Wealthy people take more money out of the economy than they spend. Poorer people have to spend most or all of the money they get their hands on so they are a much more efficient force in the economy. Every dollar a rich person makes in interest or profits from an investment has to come out of the pocket of someone else who would use that same money in a more direct way to pay for goods or services. IOW the more money gets concentrated in fewer hands the less efficient the economy gets which means more people have to get less for doing more to make up for the inefficiencies (the rich are not going to be the ones picking up the slack BTW). Also we are a social animal and studies show the more fair and equal a system is the happier all participants are, even the ones who started out with more to begin with.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Some comments in response to the various posts.

1. Right to lifers want real health care reform. We do not want to expand federal tax dollars going for abortion or funding racist organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

2. Last I heard, people (workers) build mansions and yachts. That means there are jobs for carpenters, plumbers, and boat-builders. Those with wealth generally buy things with their money that people make, travel to places, stay in hotels, and eat at restaurants, all of which employ people. So if the wealth stay in the private sector, it will create jobs. However if the government taxes us so that no one can hire anyone, then the only entity with the money is the government. The government does not create real growth in the economy. The private sector does. Probably the best thing we can do is shrink - not the population - but the size of government.

3. Finally, there is no overpopulation crisis. There has been a concerted effort to misrepresent the facts. See the following site:

You will find it fascinating.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Unintended Consequence of Mass Layoffs: Fewer Boys Being Born"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More