Background: Idiopathic clubfoot is approximately twice as common in males than in females. The reason for this discrepancy is unclear but may represent an inherent difference in the susceptibility to the deformity. If this difference is due to genetic factors it is predicted that in order to inherit clubfoot, females need to have a greater number of susceptibility genes than males. Females would also be more likely to transmit the disease to their children and have siblings with clubfoot. This phenomenon is known as the Carter effect, and the presence of such an effect supports a multifactorial threshold model of inheritance
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