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Why Are There As Many Males As Females?

Why Are There As Many Males As Females?22 Feb. 2018
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Evolution doesn’t pick a

Evolution doesn’t pick a side!

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In almost every animal species on Earth, equal numbers of males and females are conceived. Why is that? Especially in populations like lions or elephant seals, where most males don’t get to mate? That’s survival of the laziest, not survival of the fittest. It turns out that in most cases, an equal balance of the sexes is the evolutionary stable strategy. From Charles Darwin to Ronald Fisher to W.D. Hamilton to Richard Dawkins, the question of why there’s as many males as females has fascinated biologists. Today, we’ll explain why that is the way it is.


Fisher, R. A. “The genetical theory of natural selection”

Dawkins, Richard “The Selfish Gene”

Hamilton, W. D. (1967). Extraordinary sex ratios. Science, 156(3774), 477-488.





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It’s Okay To Be Smart is hosted by Joe Hanson, Ph.D.

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Produced by PBS Digital Studios

Music via APM

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Comments (100)
Shai Hulud

"Walrus don't take to no chicanery..."

Video Taper

When seals can't find a mate...'s bad for the Penguins! :-O

MrSniper YT

Emily LGBT is typing...

Tariq Hassan

Biological sex any gender are the exact same thing.


not in China


Why does he not mention how many percent of humans do not get any partner to have children with? ?


Question: Why aren't there As Many Males As Females

Answer: So That Males Gets More Females

Quackie Draws

Shouldn't there be more females, not because I'm a female, it just makes more sense that way-

Julius Howlett

The poem at the end was just the icing on the cape


And somehow everyone is still single lol (:

Paulo Louise Dela Pena

Raughs in Chinese

8B 32 Dev Mehta

I loved the poem


Did you know that more boys are born after war. Chick feast

G Clowne

i dont think its as convoluted. You got two sex chromosomes, the recombination of each leads to either male opr female witha similar ratio based on probability. Thus its more of a lucky happentance of mathematics and the practical structure of cells than mutations etc.

Hasan Emirhan Selbes

im going to lower the population of the males, brb gonna get on the news HELL YEEAAA

Gabino Bravo

Samw amount of females yet im still single for life

Sam Walker

I have wondered this for so long, glad I'm finally getting an answer.

Alexander Johansson

Not for long...

madison green

1 male per 10 females? Alabama

Spring Summer Winter Fall

It’s sad you had to add in “we’re talking about biological sex, not gender”. Are people really too stupid to realize that’s what you mean?

It's Okay To Be Smart

It’s about a lot more than X and Y… evolution insists on a balance.

If you want to learn more about this bit of evolutionary theory, there’s some suggestions in the description. Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of this week’s video!

m o i

Another question : who die more

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

0:57 dislike

Joe Baldwin

With over population, the moochers are the ones reproducing.

Daniel Viljoen

Great, my spirit animal is an elephant seal. I probably won't reproduce either.

Tony Stark

U rascal there is no such thing as evolution

Pavel navratil

him: mateless males
me: boomers


Roses are red
Violets are blue
Old friend evolution is dead
Nowadays corona has spread from here, me to you

Daniel Awesome

Hypothesis: Currently unexplained quantum biological stuff that encompasses the entire human race and determines that men and women be equal in numbers. That, somehow, kills off babies, changes genders, and creates twins(and more) when the numbers aren't right.

Vesta Hall

Love the poem!


There are more boys born then girls, but boys are more likely to die. You are more likely to have a girl if you are in worse situations (financially, like if you have no home, you are more likely to have a girl, but if you are...more successful (no offense, just meaning you have better living situations) you are more likely to have a boy. ‘Saw a video on it

Neil d.g

1:47 reminds me of Jabba the Hut.

urmi Mangal

Wbk evolution is bi ?✌️


"See thanos."
It's already balanced

Jack abug

Two things.

1) Significantly more male zygotes are produced, in humans at least, but these die off, as zygotes, embryos or later in the pregnancy, at a higher rate than their unborn female counterparts, such that by the time babies are born, only slightly more infants are male than female. In most human populations -- especially populations in which there's no statistically significant manipulation of sex ratios by methods such as centrifuging sperm to separate the Xs from the Ys -- this slight preponderance of males continues to decline as male children fall prey to disease, accident and other causes of death more frequently than female children do, so that by the time they reach adulthood, the sex ratio is close to 50:50 -- closer than it was when that generation was born, anyway.

2) Sex is not binary. Intersex people exist. I know you can't include every detail in every video, but it is a common and damaging misconception on the part of many non-scientists that sex is like a light switch with only two states, on or off, male or female. It would have been nice if there had been a brief aside to this effect, the same way there was a brief aside to point out that sex and gender are not synonymous.

Luffy Da dong

Right there is prove of god


Yep, your sex is what matters not your made up gender.

Mr Tuber

The evolutionary advantage of having many males and a few get to mate is that they fight each other to leave the strongest one left to pass on his genes. So it’s still survival of the fittest at play.

daniel webb

Science program about biology and evolution.
One of which message is that "millions of years is really 5 minutes ago"
Still spends time saying "sex not gender".
Because the last literal 5 minutes we've decided they are a different thing.

Filip Zivotic

This channel says a bit different story about ratios when It comes to humans.
And It kinda makes sense.
Are we One of those exeptions?

Eric Dew

Here in the human world, we had a chance to see what happens when males dominate female in numbers. China from the early 1980s until 2015 had a one-child per family policy (although there were ample exceptions), and baby boys were highly sought after over baby girls. The outcome is a whole generation of men now in their 30s who will never be able to marry in China because there aren't enough Chinese women of similar age for them. There are about 30 million more men than women from that cohort, and that leads to social instability. Let's see how it plays out.

Kåre Nielsen

Imagine a world with only 25% men and 75% women... that would surely make my next night out more exciting ?

Yoyoman_ Blue6

Short explanation: 50% chance of getting a male baby, 50% chance of getting a female baby. 50% male 50% female. Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

Mr. Octo

So r the boys dum

Micah Lind

i feel personly attacked by those opening statements


If its ok to be smart why do u believe in evolution?

Some Stranger

0:11 Seems male elephant seals are the new incels. It's over for Elephcels, only coping is roping.

asian man

I saw a pokemon version of this

xXCinnamon AppleXx

To bad us nb’s aren’t always thought of...


Well, if you think about it and what is happening in those "harem" type breading structure, the males fight for the mating rights, which ensues that the best suited to procreate, does. So it is pretty much super extra filtration ( say we take the same example of 4% mating rights, generally in mamals it's around 5%, that means the males that reproduce are going to be 1 in 20, the best out of 20 dudes, so very very good concept of actually making 50/50 even if you don't need a whole lot of them, they fuel evolution hardcore making sure each new cycle is as strong as possible.) Now I wonder why we sort of shy'd away from those as we grew more civilized and it's impact vis-à-vis the human gene pool. Food for thought. Cheers all!

Matthew Drummond

One of the great poets of his generation.

Kimora Cortez

The tightfisted eggplant scientifically rule because kiss shortly approve forenenst a earthy millennium. afraid, modern feet

Asim Rauh

hmm wonder where the other genders who are not commenting here and raging

Kutha Aloo

The intro noise reminds me of life is strange


im all up for equality but the feminists I talk to prioritize females over men, and when I disagree they say I'm not a feminist? Why is this? Because they are assholes or I am wrong and not a feminist?

Syed Ali

What is the purpose of male in the animal kingdom,. Other than the obvious one,. Shouldn't they have extremely small lifespan

Debkalpa Pal



The stay curious at the ended kinda ruined it, that last sentence was strong enough to wrap everything up


An I still can’t get a text back

rachel fulham

Why can’t we eat grass


Literally clicked just because of the cool thumbnail


Why did he say sex not gender

Facts House

The answer is male are not interested in sex?

The Game of the Play Gaming

well if butt sex isn’t equal , then less humans


i wish there were 100 girls for every 1 guy XD

ajiut aeft

Why mosquito don't overcrowd any one house at a given time?

Finn Tran

I think it’s also about mate selection. If theres 90% female to 10% male, if the male are genetically unfit then the whole species will have to carry crap genes (and might go extinct, hence why we don’t see these species around). Having more males meaning having more chances for genetic diversity.

Luis Guevara


Rae Peronneau

❤️ Poetry.

197 Manoj Krishna

After all "If love is a battle field atleast eachside is evenly matched" we got a new poet ?

Earl Warner

Your opening statement is false. The males that do not get the chance to reproduce do contribute in other ways.That was a horrid start. I hope that does not mean the rest of it is just as bad.

Benice Imhigh

Why would a sciencebased channel believe that gender and sex isn't the same. Having feminine or masculine traits is very easy to observe, but there is no need to create a new world where you exploit peoples need to feel special or unique, furthering their experience with bodydysmorphia and ulltimatly only extending their suffering.

No hate, just facts.


team balancing


roses are red
the sea deep teals
love isn't easy
just,ask elephant seals
when it come to males most are unlucky at love
mating is something they have no chance of
then why are so many males born when more then 96 percent are left uderly unlovable
what's the answer you ask
what's the answer you mourn
i'll tell you right now but you've got to know,
it's because, they live... in the snow
(it's 2am i should go to bed)

Leo devanand

that's why many men are still single!?

Justyna Maria

The time invested in offspring are called K and r strategy species :)

Im Just Emily

in roblox it is more like
50% Female ODER
5% Male ODER
25% Regular Female
20% Regular Male


Look he made a video about me


A lot of y'all down here in the comments just missed the part where he specified we're talking about biological sex and not gender, huh. Really lovin the transphobia that doesn't even relate to the topic

Ash Lombard

just little details like making sure you clarify you're talking abt biological sex and not gender are what makes you and your sister shows amazing. usually someone who's not lgbt wouldn't think of including that but you guys stand above and i thank you for that

Satyam Assists

After watching your all videos I literally feel that i am the smartest amongst my community.

Nishant Ray

"Why Are There As Many Males As Females?" - you obviously never studied civics in India

david gribble

This comment section makes me lose faith in humanity.

Wynn Adorno

Species where one sex dies a lot more than another? Humans easily qualify for that one, and with most species where one sex dies a lot more than the others, oops, all guys!

LionTamer Gaming

In species like penguins and humans where one female and one male have multiple offspring together through life then 50-50 is best, in species like elephant seals where each male mates with multiple females then a 20-80 ratio seems better

Colin Campbell

Odd, I've seen far more females born per year here then males!
It is not 50 / 50 in fact since I was young I've seen and known off most parents having females not males and I talking about over 50 years of my life seeing tons of females born to parents around here and few males born all that time.
In most cases female babies are born not only 1st to a couple but sometimes they don't even have any boy babies just girls in fact there always is around 3 or 4 females born to every male baby.
So not 50% each sex. more like 68% females and 32% males each generation,
Nature seems to need far more females for protecting our population from any mass wiping out by a force of nature like a asteroid hit or some other mass killing of us as a species!
Also girls do mature allot faster than boys sex wise and mind wise, Even when you look at the amount of people in any work place or walking around it is always around 3 women or girls to 1 men or boys per place.
Plus you got to look at the fact that women can't find enough men to date or be with, that's proof there is far more women than men if the women are having to even date other women's boyfriends or husbands secretly of course? Because if there was 50% each they would not have to do such stuff as there be lots of men to date etc.

Eoin Moran

Because half of men don't father any children at all

Emotional avocado

My old school somewhat loathed the fact there were equal males n females in the school. Basically the school originated as a female only school and changed to co-ed. Some of the teachers have an obvious bias against boy students but since it was primary school no one rlly did anything. Me and a few other boys presented to the teachers of the bias and we got scolded for " being unfair". The rules weren't against us or anything,but the people were.

Andrew Mynhier

4:54 bird's neck looks like bird face

Robeon Mew

That was a nice video but you didn't explain anything
The video said why there's A5050 not how the genetics reach the 5050.
Coastal forget were not telepathic so we can't really determine 5050 its pseudo random

Harold Crews

You lost me when you distinguished sex from gender.

Random Stranger

"98% of the population just uses up valuable resources." I am in this picture and I don't like it.


25% male
25% female
50% trigendered pyrofox


Right? Make it difficult to find mate.
Ooo .. a girl .. Oops she's taken.
Oh there's another one .. and she's taken too.

Angela Loque

I see that the male purple people-eater hit the jackpot. HAHAHAHA


Maybe it was made that way So that everyone has a match

Zooning -

I’m confused, I thought “biological sex” and “gender” where synonyms...

Sergio Alcantara

This clearly proves that you’re only born male or female. There isn’t 52 genders or whatever, and you can’t just jump the sex line like some people claim. ??‍♂️?

Bruce H.

Hey ask why this equation doesn't exist in China.


Did i just get a veg scientific sex talk?

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But can you make a video with French language


Why am I here. Im single

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Aman Khan Afridi

Mam what i do for low estrogen

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Mam pls mention the minimum level of amh for natural conception after 35 years.

shah jee

Maam ovulation time come then spotting start still 3 month I take last month 21 days pills also but why spooting everymonth

Priya D

Hi...m suffering from grade 3 endometriosis . Have very poor egg quality ..failed IVF . Can u help ?

Kavi Prabha

Hi mam pls mention food for egg quality after thirty five age

S V Filipina Asian Me!

What if you have a broken rib as a result of a physical assault? Can I still get pregnant?

Farah Naz

Madam I am 44 and trying to conceive for almost 3 years I really need a baby I used a lot of fertility drugs some say I am over age should I do all my tests are clear but having low overian reserve plz reply

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I have been trying for almost 2 years. I have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. My friends are conceiving the very first month. What wrong with me I feel so sad and hopeless.

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I'm 37 and after 1 month of doing the packs I conceived!! My last child is 7 so it's been a while. I'm currently 10 weeks ??

pkam raj

Is any tablet help pls suggest it.

Laura Duncan

When i was 30 i did ivf and the doctors place me into the too old category

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