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402 probability/family.p




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This article is from the Puzzles FAQ, by Chris Cole chris@questrel.questrel.com and Matthew Daly mwdaly@pobox.com with numerous contributions by others.

402 probability/family.p


Suppose that it is equally likely for a pregnancy to deliver
a baby boy as it is to deliver a baby girl. Suppose that for a
large society of people, every family continues to have children
until they have a boy, then they stop having children.
After 1,000 generations of families, what is the ratio of males
to females?

probability/family.s

The ratio will be 50-50 in both cases. We are not killing off any
fetuses or babies, and half of all conceptions will be male, half
female. When a family decides to stop does not affect this fact.

 

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