Summing up for those of us who don’t like to read studies,…Cameron, investigating the principle suggested by Valerie Grant, that maternal testosterone levels (as indicated by social status and high female achievement) affect gender ratio, studied the gender ratio of male billionaires (selected from the Forbes list) and found that they did indeed have sons 60% of the time. But then, when Cameron studied the gender ratio of the offspring of female billionaires (selected from the Forbes list), she found that they actually had more daughters than sons. This would seemingly fly in the face of the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis and debunk the idea that testosterone has anything to do with gender ratio at all.
And this is why I hate the limited nature of scientific research sometimes. Because this study, although fascinating, is research in a vacuum, divorced from the complexities of real life. One cannot isolate one factor and test for it, humans are not lab rats and the world is not a laboratory, there are simply too many variables to be easily controlled. In other words, you cannot check reason at the door and rely purely on data, because data alone can be misleading.
After roughly 60 seconds of research, I discovered the following, which casts this entire study into a new light. Nearly every woman billionaire on the Forbes list inherited her money from her father, brother, or less often, their husbands. With the exceptions of Oprah (had a son who died in infancy - how sad is that!!) Leona Helmsley (one son, no daughters), and Meg Whitman, former head of eBay (has two sons, no daughters) absolutely none of these women were self-made. They did not have to fight tooth and nail to get ahead in life, the vast majority were born into a life of privilege.
Although they may have taken a role in the family business at some point, generally that was later in their lives, long after their children were conceived. No offense meant to these women, but they were not unlike the monkeys I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the ones who when taken from the harsh outside world and brought into the lab where their every need was tended to, unexpectedly began to have many more daughters than sons as their testosterone levels dropped due to the reduction in competition.
Conversely, the women who married billionaires and went onto have more sons, at least some must have been self-made to begin with (though the myth persists that rich men seek out trophy wives, the reality is that generally women who marry rich men are quite highly accomplished themselves - you don‘t see many billionaires marrying hookers with hearts of gold outside of a Julia Roberts movie). They likely had to compete fiercely for the opportunity to even be the same social circle as a billionaire, let alone to win his attention and later, his love. And if you had won that competition and became Mrs. Lexus Networth Bigwallet, what a big burst of testosterone you would release as that ring slipped onto your finger!!
In light of all this, rather than disproving the idea of the Maternal Dominance Hypothesis and the importance of female testosterone in gender ratio, when you take into account the big picture, this study actually seems to verify the idea of the MDH!!!
So, this is somewhat of a cautionary post about taking studies with a grain of salt. Though I think Cameron’s research is invaluable, at the end of the day she appears to believe that it is female condition alone (gaining/losing weight and blood glucose levels) that are responsible for gender ratio. And lo and behold, she found evidence to support her conclusion. Whereas Valerie Grant believes testosterone is solely what matters and any appearance in differing conditions between mothers of sons and mothers of daughters is due to the idea that higher testosterone mothers are bigger, stronger, and can out compete lower t mothers for access to food and other resources. And she too finds research that backs up her beliefs exactly.
I don’t think that it is a stretch to look at the evidence and find that BOTH Grant’s and Cameron’s hypotheses are true. According to my own research into basic human biology, diet and testosterone levels are linked together intimately - as you lose weight and eat less protein, your muscles shrink and your t levels drop, and when you gain weight and eat more protein, your muscles grow and your t levels rise. It’s all part of one vast, complex process, slightly different for every person based on genetic heritage, body type, and lifestyle, that evolved over millions of years and/or was created by God to best aid humanity’s survival.