Gender Selection and Sexism

Gender selection, in its broadest sense, refers to anything that a woman or a couple might do in order to either guarantee that they have a baby of a certain gender, or to at least increase the chances that their baby will be a certain gender. Gender selection can be as simple as having intercourse in a certain position, or as complex as actually separating the sperm that will create a boy from the sperm that will create a girl for use in In Vitro Fertilization. However, there are several ethical questions regarding gender selection. One of the biggest issues that critics of gender selection raise is that gender selection may be sexist.

Those who argue against gender selection suggest that gender selection is sexist because, in society as a whole, it will ultimately lead to the oppression of one gender. When a society comes to favor a specific gender, that gender will be selected more often than the other gender. This will create a situation in which the favored gender outnumbers the non-favored gender. Ultimately, it can lead to this more numerous, dominant gender oppressing the gender that is not as numerous.

Gender selection is sexist, opponents say, in that it resembles the horrors of the now-defunct science of eugenics. By genetically manipulating a fetus, whether it is for gender or some other purpose, the genetic pool is forever changed, and not necessarily in a good way.

Gender selection may not be sexist in certain situations, however. If, for example, the aim of gender selection is to avoid a serious genetic problem, such as an inherited same-sex genetic deformity or disease. Those who believe that gender selection is sexist will, however, point out that these situations may eventually lead to situations in which gender selection is made for other, less serious and important reasons.

Finally, some may not view gender selection as sexist when it is done without medical interference. If a couple has a boy and wants a girl, and if they believe that having intercourse in a certain fashion will produce a girl, this may not be nearly as sexist as the couple who asks the fertility clinic for a girl because they don’t want a boy.

Early Signs of Twins

For women who have been trying to conceive, especially for women who have been using fertility treatments or medications, finding out that you are pregnant is an extremely exciting time. Many women, once they become pregnant, may wonder if they are going to have twins. This is especially true for women whose fertility treatments tend to produce twin or multiple pregnancies. There are certain early signs that a woman can watch for to see if she may be pregnant with twins.

One of the early signs of a twin pregnancy is that other signs of pregnancy might be exaggerated. The extra hormones that a woman who is pregnant with twins has can make breasts even more tender, make you more tired, make you need to urinate even more frequently, and, unfortunately, cause more morning sickness or nausea.

Another sign of a twin pregnancy is rapid weight gain in the first trimester. This is normal and common for women who are pregnant with twins or multiples. Measuring large for gestational age, in which your health care provider determines that your uterus is larger than usual for how far along in pregnancy you are can be another early sign of a twin pregnancy.

Women who are pregnant with twins often have elevated levels of a protein released by the baby called AFP, or alpha fetoprotein. In addition, you will probably have rapidly rising levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG for short, which is a hormone produced by the fertilized egg and used to help your pregnancy while the placenta is developing.

One of the most reliable signs that you are carrying twins is the presence of multiple heartbeats. At around 12 weeks of pregnancy, your health care provider will be able to do a Doppler test, in which he may be able to distinguish two heartbeats. An ultrasound can also reliably reveal whether or not you are carrying twins. At around six weeks of pregnancy, a skilled technician can find two embryos, two heartbeats, and two sacs.

Finally, many women just know when they are pregnant with twins. While intuition is not scientifically reliable, a woman’s ability to know her own body cannot be discounted.

Are there supplements that I can use to help with gender selection?

Nutritional supplements may be able to help people with a variety of sorts of problems or conditions. While most nutritional supplements have not necessarily been proven through clinical trials and scientific study, many people believe they have had positive results with supplements. Supplements have been able to help people when they are trying to conceive, for example. There are even supplements that you can use to help with gender selection when you are trying to conceive a baby.

The nutritional supplements that you can use to help with gender selection will, in many ways, depend on whether you are hoping for a girl or for a boy. If you want to conceive a girl, there are several supplements that may be able to help. Cranberries, for example, lower the pH in the reproductive system. This makes it more difficult for the weaker sperm, that is, the sperm that produce boys, to survive. This favors conceiving a girl. Cranberry supplements should be taken the week before you ovulate. There are also herbal tablets, such as Lydia Pinkham’s tonic, that may be able to help conceive a girl, as well.

The supplements that you can use to help with gender selection if you are interested in conceiving a boy are, of course, different than the supplements you would use for a girl. You should use Evening Primrose Oil, in order to improve the quality of your cervical mucus, which allows the faster boy-producing sperm to reach the egg before they would die off. You should take care not to take evening primrose oil after you ovulate, as it is possible that evening primrose oil could keep the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.

There may be other nutritional supplements, as well, that can help you with gender selection. While not all of these will be identical, if you look hard enough you will eventually find that the supplements for boys tend to have certain specific ingredients, while the supplements for girls have certain different ingredients.

The Emotional Side of Baby Gender Prediction


It’s happened to many couples: you start a family, become pregnant, and have a child. That child is the most precious thing in your world, no matter whether it’s a boy or a girl. As time goes on, you decide to have another child. This time, you’re hoping for the opposite. If you have a boy, you want to add a girl to the family, or if you have a girl, you want to add a boy.

When you get to that 20-week ultrasound appointment, you can’t wait to hear which it will be. When you find out it’s the same as your other child, your heart sinks a little bit.

Sure, you’re still happy to be pregnant. Yes, you’re going to love that second child just as much as you love your first child. Still, you sometimes wish you could have one of each.

By the time you get to the third child, you really start thinking hard about gender. You do some reading, and find out that having sex at certain times and in certain ways might maximize your odds of conceiving one gender or the other.

So, you try – and you fail. Baby number three, while precious, is the same gender as the other two.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling disappointment. It’s normal and natural. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. It doesn’t mean you’re going to resent the child because they’re not the gender you hoped for.

What it does mean is that you probably need to talk through these feelings. Your partner is a good place to start, but he’s probably feeling some of the same emotions. You might even think about talking to a therapist, as it can be a difficult time.

You need to learn to accept the emotions that come. Don’t feel guilty at sadness or disappointment. But instead you need to bring yourself to the point of acceptance, and remember just how much you truly love your other children. Having one more boy or one more girl isn’t going to change that.

Top Ten Most Common Birth Defects

Birth defects account for approximately 120,000 babies born in the United States alone. Some of these defects are genetic, while others are brought on through environmental factors or a combination of both. In fact, some birth defects are so severe that they result in a baby’s death. No matter how serious any given birth defect is, it will have a major impact on the child’s, and your family’s, life.

Here are the top ten most common birth defects:

  1. Down’s Syndrome. The chance of giving birth to a child with this genetic disorder is increased with the mother’s age. Both men and women can transfer faulty genes to the child.
  2. Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate. Several factors determine the likelihood of bearing children with a cleft lip or palate. Family history, race, sex, parent obesity and smoking while pregnant all increase the risk.
  3. Congenital Heart Defect. The most common causes of congenital heart defects in newborns are family history and drinking while you’re pregnant. However, other factors are also considered such as diabetes and taking certain medications during pregnancy.
  4. Missing or Undeveloped Limbs. There is no known cause for this particular defect. However, during your pregnancy, taking certain medications or contracting various infections or viruses increase the risk.
  5. Stomach/Intestinal Defects. Younger, caucasian women are at a higher risk of having a baby with digestive problems. Smoking and drinking alcohol during your pregnancy also adds to this risk.
  6. Eye Defects. Nearsightedness and blindness are common amongst this group of birth defects. They are largely genetic, but there are some environmental factors involved as well.
  7. Spina Bifida. Having a family history of neural tube defects is largely responsible for Spina Bifida. Other risk factors while you’re pregnant are increased body temperature, pre-pregnancy obesity, vitamin B-9 deficiency, and diabetes.
  8. Sickle Cell Disease. This is another genetic defect that’s primarily found African-Americans. The chance of birthing a child with sickle cell disease is completely dependent on the parents having the trait in their genes.
  9. Autism. Autism affects all races, but boys are most likely to be born with some form. Parents who show minor issues with social or communication skills and who are older tend to have children with autism.

For the most part, watching what you put into your body decreases the odds of having a child with birth defects. Your doctor is able to identify most of these before your baby is born.

Understanding Gender Prediction Tests


Today, there are a variety of gender prediction tests that expecting parents might use to try to determine their baby’s sex before the baby is born. Some of these gender prediction tests aren’t based on science, and are really meant for fun. Other tests are pretty accurate, and a good way to determine your baby’s gender.

For example, the Drano test is one that seems to be scientific but really isn’t. There’s no basis to suggest it works. For the Drano test, a woman mixes urine with crystal Drano. If the Drano turns one color, her baby is supposed to be a boy. If the Drano turns a different color, it’s supposed to be a girl. As a matter of fact, depending on who you ask, the same color might mean a boy for one or a girl for someone else.

Another test that’s more interesting and fun is the wedding ring gender prediction test. For this test, someone needs to dangle the woman’s wedding ring over her pregnant belly. If the ring swings around in circles, it’s going to be a girl. If it goes back and forth like a pendulum, it will be a boy.

The most completely accurate gender test would be with amniocentesis. Amniocentesis can be dangerous for your baby, although the risks are fairly low. For the most part, amniocentesis isn’t done for the purposes of baby gender prediction.

An ultrasound is probably how you will actually predict your baby’s gender. After around 20 weeks of pregnancy, ultrasounds are about 90% reliable. An ultrasound tech or a doctor can identify the developing genitals, and let you know whether it’s a boy or a girl.

There are home gender prediction tests, as well. How well these work isn’t certain. Many of the manufacturers offer a money-back guarantee. If your child winds up being the other gender, you can get a refund. Even if the tests don’t work, there’s a 50% chance they will be correct, of course. 

How Does an Ultrasound Work for Determining Gender?


While there are many ways that you can try to predict your baby’s gender – some of which work, others of which are based on myth – one of the most reliable methods is of course the ultrasound. Short of advanced procedures such as amniocentesis or genetic sampling, an ultrasound is the one medical way that you can know your baby’s gender. If  you understand how an ultrasound works, you can better understand exactly why this is a reliable way to let you know your baby’s gender.

An ultrasound creates a visual representation of the landscape inside of your womb. Doctors will usually use an ultrasound at about 8 weeks of pregnancy in order to allow you to see your baby’s heart rate. Doctors use ultrasounds to measure your baby’s size, and to track her growth. In some cases, a doctor may use an ultrasound to try to see if there are any abnormal aspects to your baby’s growth and development.

How a health care professional uses an ultrasound to determine your baby’s gender will determine, in part, whether you get any results, or accurate results. Generally speaking, the person operating the ultrasound is looking for the presence of male or female genitalia. If they are able to find a penis, they will predict your baby’s gender will be male. If they see the labia, they will predict that your baby is a girl.

It’s important to understand that most health care professionals aren’t going to simply assume that your baby is a girl just because they can’t locate a penis on the ultrasound. Without seeing the labia, a technician or a doctor isn’t going to tell you that you’re having a girl. If you’re unsure, of course, ask whether the health care professional actually sees genitalia.

Whether or not your health care provider can determine your baby’s gender with an ultrasound depends on a number of factors. In particular, how your baby is positioned will determine, to a large degree, whether or not the genitals show up on an ultrasound. The age and size of your baby also matter here. 

Gender and Sibling Rivalry Before Baby is Born

The arrival of a new baby in the house can be a wonderful and joyous experience. However, for families who already have one or more children, the arrival of a new baby can also signify the arrival of an unwanted bundle – sibling rivalry. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to help to prepare your older child or children before and after the new baby arrives.

Sibling rivalry is often characterized either by acting out or even regression by older siblings. A toddler, for example, might pick back up some of his baby-like habits, such as wanting a bottle or a pacifier, or even losing ground on potty training. A child might even become aggressive, and act out violently against himself, the new baby, or other friends or family members.

To help prepare your child for a new baby, make sure to talk with them when you discover you are pregnant. You want your child to hear it from you, not from someone else, that there will be a new baby in the house.

If the new baby will be sharing a room with a sibling, try to get the room set up a couple of months before the birth so that the older child has time to adjust. If your toddler will be moving from her crib to a toddler bed, try to do this early as well.
Take your child or children with you on a prenatal visit, if possible. This can help them to be more comfortable with the whole process. Many hospitals also offer classes for the new big sister or big brother; take advantage of these.

Help your child to understand what it will be like when the new baby arrives. Explain that the baby won’t be able to be a playmate for quite a while. Explain that many times, because the baby is not as grown up as your other children, that the baby might have to have more attention from mom and dad for a while.

Once the new baby arrives, make sure that you have one-on-one time for your older children as well. Even just a few minutes a day can help to overcome feelings of jealousy and neglect. Also, talk with you your older child about his feelings, and help him to say how he feels. Be clear that it is never OK to hurt anyone, including themselves. In time, you will be able to make your older children partners with you in the baby’s care.

Is There A Natural Way To Select My Baby’s Gender?

The fact of the matter is that the advances that we have made in terms of medical science in the last century is staggering. Yet, some of those advances can, in many ways, be a little bit frightening. In some ways, we seem to be tinkering with things that it just doesn’t seem natural to tinker with. Sometimes, we use science to change things or to make things happen a certain way that, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t really necessary or even ethical. In other cases, there are perfectly natural ways to perform some tasks that we readily give over to medicine. In terms of trying to conceive, we know that we can select our baby’s gender during In Vitro Fertilization. However, most of us don’t have the capacity or the desire to spend tens of thousands of dollars on IVF just to select our baby’s gender.
Fortunately, there may be natural ways to select your baby’s gender. While natural ways to select your baby’s gender may not have been proven in clinical studies to be effective, many women nevertheless have experienced some degree or another of success in selecting their baby’s gender through these means.

Some of the most common natural ways to select your baby’s gender have to do with the timing of intercourse. Specifically, they have to do with the timing of intercourse as it relates to the timing of ovulation. It is thought that if you have intercourse 2 and a half or more days before ovulating, you are more likely to have a girl, whereas if you have intercourse less than 2 and a half days before ovulating, you are more likely to have a boy. In addition, you can select your baby’s gender naturally by doing certain things both before and during intercourse to make it more likely that you will have a certain gender.

Most of these natural ways to select your baby’s gender are based on some relatively solid scientific information, such as the difference between “boy” sperm and “girl” sperm. Using natural methods of selecting your baby’s gender may not be as reliable as medical methods in the long run, but they are certainly less complicated, and less expensive as well.

Day of Conception and Baby’s Gender

Believe it or not, the day of conception can indeed contribute to how a baby’s gender is determined. While it may sound like an old wives’ tale, there are very specific scientific reasons that this may be the case.

To understand how the day of conception can determine babies gender, it is necessary to know a little bit about what it is that determines gender. Much to the chagrin of Henry VIII, it is the sperm of the male partner that determines babies gender. Had this fact been known in centuries past, it is likely that history may have turned out very differently than it has!

Essentially, there are two different types of male sperm. There are the sperm that produce boys, and then there are, obviously, the sperm that will produce girls. The sperm that produce boys tend to swim faster than the sperm that produce girls, and they get to the egg faster. However, these sperm have a shorter lifespan than the sperm that produce girls. The sperm that produce girls swim slower, but they will often last several days longer than the sperm that produce boys.

To try to determine your babies gender, you can time the day of conception. If you are trying to get pregnant with a girl, you should have sex a few days prior to ovulation. Thus, the sperm that would produce a boy will die off before you ovulate, and will not have a chance to fertilize your egg. This will also give those sperm that would produce a girl the opportunity to get to your egg.

If you are trying for a boy, your day of conception needs to be different. To try to have a boy, you will want to have sex during the time that you are ovulating. Some people have even suggested that you put the day of conception off until the very end of ovulation, although this, obviously, creates a higher risk of not becoming pregnant at all.

Ultimately, the day of conception will not guarantee a babies gender, but it may be able to help.