Suppose N mothers live in a city. Half of them have one child and half of them have two children. That means that an average mother has 1.5 children.
Suppose we pick the sexual orientation of every child by rolling dice. Let’s assume that a child has a 10% probability of being homosexual.
The number of mothers with one child who is homosexual is 0.05N. The number of mothers with two children both of them homosexual is 0.005N. The number of mothers with two children with only the first child homosexual is 0.045N, which is the same as the number of mothers of two children with only the second child homosexual. The total number of mothers who have two children with at least one of them homosexual is 0.095N.
Let’s calculate the average fertility of a mother with at least one homosexual child. It is (1*0.05N + 2*0.095N)/(0.05N + 0.095N) = 0.24/0.145 = 1.66. The resulting number — 1.66 — is much bigger than 1.5, the average number of children for a mother.
This means there is a correlation between homosexuality and the fertility of mothers. This suggests that there is a gay gene which at the same time is responsible for female fertility.
But the model is completely random — there can’t be any correlation.
Where is the mistake?
Obviously, you can substitute homosexuality with having blue eyes or math ability or whatever, but I invented this paradox while I was working on my “Fraternal Birth Order Threatens Research into the Genetics of Homosexuality” post. Besides, there is some research on correlation between homosexuality and fertility.
I look forward to your solution to this puzzle.Share: