The Returning Soldier Effect

Samuel Reason | January 24th, 2019

It has been noted for centuries that more boys are born after major wars, scientists have even confirmed it. But the phenomenon remains a major mystery, no one can actually tell you why it happens. First observed by researchers in 1945 after World War II in the United States, it has been replicated in every nation that took part in a major war.

i.ytimg.com

As you may have guessed it has been called The Returning Soldier Effect, and it is not the strangest phenomenon that has been observed after times of war. For example, in Britain after World War I, it was proven that the men who survived & came back to their wives were on average 1 inch taller than those who lost their lives. Another statistic that does not really make much sense, but nevertheless was prominent enough to be significant.

Doctors have published reports before that taller people seem to have more boys than daughters so, this is one theory that is put forth. Taller soldiers survive conflicts and therefore when returning to their countries after the war more sons are born.

But not many agree with this view and the phenomenon has confused thinkers & scientists for generations. Some put forth the argument that is is simply theological: a divine intervention for more boys to be born. Another theory, however, pins the explanation on a gene that both men & women carry but is only active in men. It is the gene that decides how many of a man’s sperm carry the X chromosome and how many carry the Y chromosome. If you have more Y sperm then genetically speaking you have a higher chance of fathering a boy.

So how does this tie into the argument of world wars cause more boys to be born? It comes down to a family’s genetic tree, a man with more brothers always has a higher chance of fathering a boy as on average he has more Y sperm. Mathematically speaking if 3 brothers go to war, you have a higher chance of one of them returning. This could be another reason why we witness The Returning Soldier Effect.

Next Article
  • Only One Person Has Ever Been Cured Of HIV

    Timothy Ray Brown known as the Berlin patient is the only known person to have been cured. The problem is no doctors actually know what part of the treatment cured him. In 2007 this was a real disappointment when doctors finally cured HIV but had no idea how they did it. And it took them...

    Read More
  • The Rock of Guatape

    In the Colombian department of Antioquia lodged between the towns of Guatape and El Penol you will find an enormous boulder known as The Rock Of Guatape. Or if you are from Penol, then you may refer to it as the Rock of Penol - just depends on which town you are from. [caption id="attachment_7956"...

    Read More
  • Pig Farmers Say Marijuana Pig Feed Is Better

    Some farmers have a very interesting take on the progression of growing cannabis and the growing legalization of marijuana around the United States. Many believe it is the perfect crop to be commercialized and used in their animal feed - too keep them happy and relaxed! And well if you...

    Read More
  • Telegraph Invented Due To Heartbreak

    The inventor of the telegraph Samuel Morse had quite a tough life that was filled with numerous disappointments and this may really have been one of the reasons he ended up inventing the telegraph. Samuel Morse was born 225 years ago and is known around the world for having invented...

    Read More
  • Colorful Honey Created Naturally By Candy Eating Bees

    A couple of beekeepers in northeastern France were left scratching their heads in confusion when their bees started to produce thick blue and green honey completely naturally. The bees from their hives were found producing honey in odd shades of blue and green - something that was completely unheard of and never seen before. [caption...

    Read More
  • The Sheepdogs That Protect The Little Penguins

    On an Australian Island, there was a strong and vibrant colony of little penguins - that was until the foxes came and nearly ate them all up. Luckily for the little penguins they had a farmer on their side who decided to come up with an amazing way to protect them, in fact, it is...

    Read More
  • The Grueling Gaokao Exam Is The Toughest In The World

    China’s college entrance exam known as the Gaokao is thought to be one of the toughest examinations in the whole world. If you want a spot in one of the 2,200 Chinese universities then you need to ace your Gaokao exam. And it goes much deeper than that, sure the exam decides the university ranking...

    Read More
  • Tiny Sweat Bees Will Try To Feed Off Your Tears

    Recently doctors treating a Taiwanese woman for a swollen eye were shocked to find that she had over four little bees living in her, under her eyelid and feeding off her tears. These tiny little bees are known as sweat bees and are only around 3 millimeters long, so are small enough to fit under...

    Read More