Document Detail

Does famine influence sex ratio at birth? Evidence from the 1959-1961 Great Leap Forward Famine in China.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22456881     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The current study examined the long-term trend in sex ratio at birth between 1929 and 1982 using retrospective birth histories of 310 101 Chinese women collected in a large, nationally representative sample survey in 1982. The study identified an abrupt decline in sex ratio at birth between April 1960, over a year after the Great Leap Forward Famine began, and October 1963, approximately 2 years after the famine ended, followed by a compensatory rise between October 1963 and July 1965. These findings support the adaptive sex ratio adjustment hypothesis that mothers in good condition are more likely to give birth to sons, whereas mothers in poor condition are more likely to give birth to daughters. In addition, these findings help explain the lack of consistent evidence reported by earlier studies based on the 1944-1945 Dutch Hunger Winter or the 1942 Leningrad Siege.
Shige Song
Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2012-03-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  279     ISSN:  1471-2954     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-12     Completed Date:  2012-10-17     Revised Date:  2013-07-24    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2883-90     Citation Subset:  IM    
Queens College and CUNY Institute for Demographic Research, City University of New York, Flushing, NY 11367, USA.
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MeSH Terms
History, 20th Century
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
Retrospective Studies
Sex Ratio*
Time Factors

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