# Relative Frequency: Variation in Expected Probabilities

Conceptually we would expect the probability of newborn males and females to be the same. However, census reports indicate that the ratios of males and females in various countries do not conform to the theoretical prediction. What do you think accounts for this variation? Can you think of other cases where the expected probabilities do not quite agree with the empirical values?

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Statistics say the ratio of males to females should be 1 to 1. However, this is not the case in many countries. There are many factors that can explain the discrepancy between the observed against the expected statistics between male and female sex ratios. Some of the factors are listed below:

1. Natural factors: Factors such as paternal age, birth order, gestation period, parents health are thought to contribute to differing sex ratio

2. Environmental factors: Climate change and global warming are thought to impact sex ratio

3. Imbalance in gender: there are more males at birth than females. However, there are different death causes for males and females. Males die for many reasons such as war casualties.

4. Social factors: In countries like China, males are preferred to females. Therefore, there are more abortions for females. This creates gender imbalance in China.

5. Economic factors: Studies have shown that economic factors contribute to imbalance in sex ratios. Countries that are well off have similar male to female ratio than countries whose economies are not so good.

Other cases where the expected probabilities are different from empirical values include:

1. Whether forecasts: Meteorologists can predict that there would be drought the whole year only to find that there is rain the whole year

2. Coin flip: When one flips a coin several times, one would expect to have the same number of tails as there are heads. However, this is normally not the case.

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