Converting Sex Shares to Sex Ratios

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Sex ratios are more meaningful than sex shares. If you are presented with statistics on sex shares, convert them to sex ratios for better insight. Converting a sex share to the corresponding sex ratio involves only easy algebra.

Suppose S equals the share of men in the total number. Hence the share of women is 1-S, and the ratio of men to women is S/(1-S). If T is the the share of women, then the sex ratio is (1-T)/T.

Ratios can be converted to the corresponding share. Suppose R equals the ratio of men to women. Then the share of men in the total number equals R/(1+R), and the share of women is 1-(R/(1+R)). Because sex ratios are more meaningful than sex shares, don’t convert sex ratios to sex shares unless you seek to confuse and obscure.

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