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No. 115: Jan-Feb 1998

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Nuclear Families

Men who work at England's Sellafield nuclear power plant father significantly more sons than daughters. Male plant workers produced 109 boys for every 100 girls. This compared with 105 boys for every 100 girls for men in the same area who did not work at the plant.

The bias was even greater for men who had received higher than normal doses of radiation in the 3 months prior to conception: 140 boys per 100 girls.

Actually, both sets of figures are significant because of the large sample employed: 260,000 children.

(Anonymous; "Does Atomic Plant Generate Sons?" Baltimore Sun, December 12, 1996.)

Comment. The average sex ratio worldwide falls between 104-107 boys per 100 girls. There are, however, some fascinating geographical extremes:

Montserrat 94.34
Aden 120.31

Why do these large differences prevail? Is Aden radioactive? For more on this subject, see our Catalog: Biological Anomalies: Humans II.

From Science Frontiers #115, JAN-FEB 1998. 1998-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987