by Dr. Eowyn
This takes Trump Derangement Syndrome to a whole new level.
A study by two Canadian scientists at the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, found that stress — similar to stress from traumatic societal incidents like terrorist attacks — from the 2016 election of Donald Trump actually led to Canadian leftists (“liberals”) giving birth to fewer male babies.
The scientists are Ravi Retnakaran and Chang Ye; Retnakaran is also with the Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. Their study is published as “Outcome of the 2016 United States presidential election and the subsequent sex ratio at birth in Canada: an ecological study,” BMJ Open, vol. 10, issue 2.
Below is an excerpt from their article:
In this study, we demonstrate two main findings. First, Canada’s most populous province experienced a decline in the sex ratio at birth 4 months after the 2016 US presidential election, with subsequent recovery in the 5 months thereafter. This time course of changes in the sex ratio matches that which has been previously described after adverse societal events, such as terrorist attacks. Second, the transient decline in the overall proportion of boys to girls born in Ontario in March 2017 was observed in politically liberal-leaning jurisdictions but not in conservative-leaning regions of the province. Taken together, these data suggest that the unanticipated outcome of the 2016 US presidential election was associated with a temporary reduction in the sex ratio at birth in Canada that may have related to its perception as an adverse societal event by the politically liberal-leaning population.
In humans, despite relative balance in the proportion of spermatozoa carrying a Y-chromosome to those carrying an X-chromosome,22 there is typically a slight preponderance of boys at delivery. This imbalance at birth has been attributed to sex-specific differences in fetal vulnerability during specific time periods in pregnancy.23 Indeed, after initial balance at conception, the sex ratio in humans varies at different timepoints across gestation, with total female mortality in utero ultimately exceeding male mortality (thereby yielding the slight excess of boys at delivery).23 Thus, changes in the sex ratio at birth can reflect the impact of sex-specific differences in fetal loss during pregnancy.
In this context, enhanced loss of male fetuses has been proposed as the mechanistic basis by which adverse societal stressors (such as disasters, terrorism and economic collapse) may lead to a reduction in the sex ratio at birth.3 5 6 From the perspective of evolutionary biology, it has been suggested that, under adverse conditions, the loss of frail male fetuses may be beneficial to the species by yielding a ‘culled cohort’ of healthier males that are better able to reproduce and hence increase the likelihood of survival of the population.5 6 24 Among such societal stressors in humans, discrete events such as terrorist attacks have typically induced a characteristic pattern consisting of a transient decline in the sex ratio 3–5 months later that is believed to reflect comparatively greater male fetal loss during a vulnerable window in mid-pregnancy at around 20–25 weeks’ gestation.10 17 In other words, the greater loss of male fetuses who are within this vulnerable window at the time of the event results in a depression of the sex ratio 3–5 months later when these babies would otherwise have been born. For example, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the sex ratio fell 3–5 months later in New York,13 California14 and the entire US,15 accompanied by greater male fetal deaths in the intervening months.15 Indeed, this post-event loss of male babies has emerged as an under-recognised contributor to the overall casualty toll after terrorist attacks such as 9/11, the 2011 Norway attacks, and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.17
Against this background, we hypothesised that the unexpected victory of the nationalist, right-leaning Republican nominee in the 2016 US election and its resultant uncertain global implications could have been perceived as a societal stressor in left-leaning nations and thereby affected the sex ratio in a country such as Canada. Although we cannot definitively ascertain causality with the current study design, three lines of evidence arising from these data support this hypothesis. First, the hypothesised pattern of a transient decline in the sex ratio at birth followed by recovery thereafter was indeed observed in Ontario. Second, although other unrecognised societal factors may also affect the sex ratio, the anticipated decline occurred precisely within the predicted window of 3–5 months following the election, as did the recovery in the 5 months thereafter. Third, this effect was observed in liberal-leaning regions where the population may have perceived the outcome of the election as an adverse societal stressor, but not in conservative-leaning jurisdictions (where it may not have been perceived in this way). It is notable that the pattern of change in the sex ratio in the liberal regions precisely matched that which would occur after a discrete adverse event, with both the nadir 4 months post-election and continuous rise (recovery) over the 5 months that followed (figure 2A and table 2). In contrast, the sex ratio pattern in conservative regions showed neither of these characteristic features (figure 2B and table 2).