In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?

In a family with two children, what are the chances, if one of the children is a girl, that both children are girls?

I just dipped into a book, The Drunkard’s Walk – How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow, Vintage Books, 2008. On p.107 Mlodinow says the chances are 1 in 3.

It seems obvious to me that the chances are 1 in 2. Am I correct? Is this not exactly analogous to having a bowl with an infinite number of marbles, half black and half red? Without looking I draw out a black marble. The probability of the second marble I draw being black is 1/2.

Answer

In a family with 2 children there are four possibilities:

1) the first child is a boy and the second child is a boy (bb)

2) the first child is a boy and the second child is a girl (bg)

3) the first child is a girl and the second child is a boy (gb)

4) the first child is a girl and the second child is a girl (gg)

Since we are given that at least one child is a girl there are three possibilities: bg, gb, or gg. Out of those three possibilities the only one with two girls is gg. Hence the probability is \frac{1}{3}.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : NotSuper , Answer Author : Travis Service

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