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Girls on top as Covid stress overturns newborn boys’ dominance

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Girls on top as Covid stress overturns newborn boys’ dominance

Tip in birth sex ratio has been observed before, such as in UK after Diana’s death and in Slovenia after 1991 war

Cape Town bureau chief

A researcher who revealed a boom in the birth of boys nine months after SA hosted the Soccer World Cup in 2010 has done it again ... but this time the backdrop of his finding is less uplifting.

Three months after the start of the Covid epidemic in SA, and for the only time in 100 months analysed, more girls than boys were born, according to Gwinyai Masukume, formerly of the Wits University school of public health.

The statistically significant shift in the “sex ratio at birth” for June 2020 suggests the onset of the pandemic engendered population stress with notable effects on pregnancy and public health, said Gwinyai Masukume, from the academic paediatrics department at the Mater Dei Hospital medical school in Malta...

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