
Re: The probability of boys
Posted:
Dec 17, 1997 2:53 AM


No SPAM wrote: > > Dennis Rakestraw <drakestraw@hotmail.com> wrote in article > <882203102.2049048581@dejanews.com>... > [stuff deleted] > > > If a man says, "of my two children at least one is a boy," what is the > > probability that both are boys? The answer, oddly, is not "5050." > [more stuff deleted] > > A finer example of sexism in mathematics will ne'er be found. > > If men who have one boy and one girl are as likely to start, > "of my two children at least one is a girl" as they are to start, > "of my two children at least one is a boy", then the answer is > indeed 5050.
Bzzzt! Wrong. If the man (or woman) says "at least one boy", then the chances are 1/3 that the other is a boy. If the man (or woman) says "at least one girl", then the chances are 1/3 that the other is a girl. That's where the parity comes in.
If you want to avoid sexism, then just phrase the problem differently every other time.
 <J Q B>

