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352
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mothers claim 19, or more than half of the 35 children which have resulted from the 18 marriages. In the family of the member from '80 six of the seven children are sons. There are nine mothers who have six children each, one in '69, '73 and '74 and two in '76, '78 and '79, respectively. In three of these families, the one in '69 and one of the two in both '76 and '78, the children are all boys. All this goes to show, what has so often been stated, that there is no such thing as an average person.

Now comes the most surprising fact in the whole record of this catalogue, and that is the preponderance of boys among the children. In the first decade there are 204 sons and 157 daughters, making the excess of the former nearly 30 per cent. At first this proportion seemed accidental, but though not so large in the succeeding decades, it appears constant. In the second decade there are 160 sons to 135 daughters, making the excess of the former 18y 2 per cent.; and in the third decade there are 73 sons to 62 daughters, or 19% per cent, more boys than girls.

It is a well-known fact that in the normal birth rate the number of males slightly exceeds the females, by about five per cent. This is explained because of the greater mortality among boy babies. It is the intention of nature that the sexes upon arriving at maturity shall be about equal in numbers. But the fact that to any class of mothers should be born nearly one third more sons than daughters, as in the first decade, or almost one fifth more, as in the other two decades, suggests an interesting problem to the physiologist and the sociologist. Climate or material environment can not account for it.

Before leaving these matrimonial statistics, it may be worth while to compare them with those of the Harvard graduates, as set forth by President Eliot in his report of last year, which has not yet ceased to echo around the country. Dr. Eliot gave the records for six classes, 1872-77. Of the 881 members in those classes 634, or 72 per cent., had married. Though the proportion is considerably larger than that (56 per cent.) of the 323 Vassar women in the classes 1867-76, President Eliot considers it regrettably small. It is interesting to note that the average number of children is precisely the same, both in the Harvard and in the Vassar families, two to each. The 634 Harvard fathers report 1,262 living children. College women as a class have often been sneered at because so many of them do not marry, but if less than three fourths of college men marry, perhaps higher education may have an effect upon the individual quite as much as upon the sex.

Of the 1,302 Vassar graduates, 1867-96, there were 541 married in 1900. In the whole list there are but three second marriages, two of them in the class of '81, and no divorce indicated as such. But