Katie or Bruce? Choosing Your Baby’s Gender

Given an opportunity to decide the gender of their child, women are equal in choosing blue or pink crib dressings, new research shows.

“Choosing a baby’s gender is a subject that’s nearly taboo for doctors to discuss,” said Tarun Jain, a reproductive specialist at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “However, it’s vital in understanding patient curiosity in non-medical gender choice and sufficiently acknowledges the social and ethical ramifications before final results are released. Before this research, there hasn’t been enough information to indicate how much demand there is.”

Of the 561 females who took part in this research, 229 said they’d prefer to decide the gender of their future child. Within these 229, demand for girls was the same as for boys.

Yet the data indicated that mothers who already have a child or children of one gender favor having their next baby as the opposite gender to create balance among the family.

Choosing a gender

There are currently two techniques for gender selection used in the United States.

The first is separating sperm. The idea is that sperm containing a Y chromosome (for boys) weigh slightly less than sperm containing an X chromosome (for girls). Due to this slight variation, the sperm can be separated and prepared for a routine insemination procedure.

The success rate for this particular method is approximately 70 percent for boys and 90 percent for girls.

The other technique is the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD. This is a type of in vitro fertilization. Unlike standard in vitro fertilization, physicians take a handful of cells from the prepared PGD embryo, where its sex is determined. They only transfer embryos of the wanted gender into the woman’s body.

This technique boasts a success rate of almost 100 percent, yet it’s costly and highly physically invasive compared to sperm separation.

Outlawed in the UK

Choosing genders for non-medical purposes is outlawed within the United Kingdom. This decision was accepted by 80 percent of the people. However, there presently aren’t any laws prohibiting Americans from using this science.

The President’s Council on Bioethics maintains records of the ethical facets of gender choice for non-medical reasons but has yet to issue a judgment. Early worries are that gender balances would be changed and, in the cases of PGD, human embryos will go to waste.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) isn’t concerned that people will generate an unnatural gender imbalance. They endorse sperm separation to balance genders within the family unit. Although ASRM has faith that PGD is safe, it has concerns about eliminating unwanted embryos, and as such, retreated from its prior support of this technique.

Scientists hope this research will bring the issue of choosing genders further into the public’s view. They suggest it’s crucial to fertility clinics and society to decide what constitutes appropriate use of non-medical gender selection as the technologies involved become increasingly mainstream.

Ethics of Gender Selection

As with many of the advancements that have occurred in medical science over the last century, the question of gender selection brings with it a certain amount of debate. While most people have no problem with a couple who is hoping to have a child of a certain gender using a variety of natural techniques to increase their chances, there are more concerns with the implications of selecting gender via In Vitro Fertilization or through other genetic means. Gender selection certainly has its pros and its cons.

One of the pros of gender selection is the ability to avoid certain types of inheritable illnesses. This would include certain diseases and illnesses that tend to be transferred from a parent of one gender to a child of the same gender. In this way, gender selection can be used to spare a child a variety of suffering.

Another pro to gender selection is for families who want to have children of each gender. A family may already have a daughter, and hope to have a boy, or vice versa. Certainly, this reasoning is relatively innocuous by itself.

However, on the con side, the argument goes that selecting gender based solely on the preference of the parents leads to a slippery slope. The opponents of gender selection suggest that, in a society that favors men over women, for example, that gender selection would become sexist, and could lead to the oppression of one gender by the other. It would put one gender in a forced minority status, just based on gender selection.

Another con of gender selection is that tinkering with the genetic code of human beings has never proven to be a good thing in human history. Whether it was the horrible experiments of the Nazis or some other tragedy, genetic experimentation and interference has tended to lead to abuses of power. Certainly, having the power to select gender can lead to an abuse of power, in which the state could force individuals to have children of only a certain gender, for example.

What You Eat May Help Predict Your Baby’s Gender


There has long been speculation regarding whether a mother’s diet influenced the gender of the baby. While there is a pretty big body of folklore to suggest that it does, the scientific community has largely rejected the notion until recently.

In 2007-2008, the Universities of Exeter and Oxford conducted a study to examine the relationship between a woman’s diet and the gender of her baby. The studies seem to show some direct relations between how a mother eats and the gender of babies she conceives.

The difference wasn’t so significant as to suggest that you can determine the gender of your baby by changing your eating habits. Still, it can give you a better idea of which gender of baby you are more likely to conceive.

The study considered 750 women, all of whom were pregnant with their first child. Each of the women’s eating habits was considered. The main factor (as far as diet is concerned) in determining gender appeared to be the amount of Caloric intake (i.e., how much the mother had eaten) before conception. Generally speaking, the study found:

  • Women with higher Caloric intakes were more likely to give birth to boys.
  • Women with lower Caloric intakes were more likely to give birth to girls.

So, if you’re a healthy eater who makes sure to have a good breakfast every morning, you’re more likely to have a bouncing baby boy. If you skip meals regularly and go out of your way to make sure you fit into that size 4 swimsuit, you’re more likely to need some pink paint for the nursery.

The differences in probability aren’t huge, but they’re enough to be significant. In the study, the women who ate more were 56% percent likely to have boys, compared to 45% for those women with the lowest Caloric intake.

Can you accurately predict the gender of your baby based on your eating habits? No, but you may be able to make a guess that’s slightly better than 50/50. We don’t recommend you bet the rent on it. Wait until you get the ultrasound to do that (they’re 90% accurate). Still, any help predicting the gender of the baby is good help, right?


Lovemaking Positions to Predict Gender


For centuries, people have been trying to figure out exactly what they should do in order to conceive a boy. Of course, this mattered a lot more in cultures where male offspring were preferred; in the case of famous royalty like Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, for example, it proved to be fatal.

Today, couples certainly like to try to predict their baby’s gender, and may simply prefer to have a boy or a girl. After all, if you’ve already got two daughters, it might be nice to have a son.

There are all sorts of things you can do to try to encourage your baby to be conceived either male or female, some of which work and most of which don’t. For example, there are old wives tales that tell you to eat dessert on the night of conception if you want a girl, but meat and salty foods if you want a boy.

Chinese gender selection charts will tell you that the actual date of conception has something to do with whether you have a boy or a girl. Obviously you can try to follow these, but there’s nothing in the way of scientific proof to back up the theory.

In the 1960s, Dr. Shettles proposed the idea that the timing and position of lovemaking could impact the gender of your baby. Dr. Shettles looked at the differences between boy-producing and girl-producing sperm, and ptu together techniques for conception based on those characteristics.

For example, Dr. Shettles suggested that boy-producing sperm is less hearty, and needs more help in getting to the cervix. Deeper penetration, then – such as occurs in missionary position or in man-behind position – would be more likely to conceive a boy. It’s also important in the Shettles method to have sex as near ovulation as possible, as that’s when the woman’s cervical mucus is most friendly to boy-producing sperm.

The good news is this: even if the method you use to try to conceive a child of a specific gender doesn’t have much in the way of scientific backing, you always have a 50% chance of conceiving the gender you’re hoping for. 

Gender and Babysitter Choice

The stereotypical image of the teenage boy is a case study in irresponsibility. The teenage boy is reckless, obnoxious, entirely hormonal, generally out of control, and completely unable to cope with any sense of duty. This is the last person that you would want to baby-sit your child!

The traditional image of a babysitter is that of a teenage girl who wants to earn some extra money to spend at the mall. She’s into children, and especially enjoys spending time with your children. In this stereotype, the worst thing that might happen while she is babysitting is that she will spend too much time on the phone, or perhaps she will allow junior to sneak an extra cookie while she’s watching television. Babysitting is even seen as very early preparation for raising her own children someday.

Still, stereotypes are just that: stereotypes. These ideas may not always be accurate. statistical data on the subject of abuse by babysitters goes both ways: while male babysitters commit more sexual assault than female babysitters, female babysitters commit more physical abuse than male babysitters. In addition, it is important to remember that abuse by babysitters is the exception rather than the rule; The vast majority of abusers (according to some studies about 90%) are not babysitters at all but rather are family members or acquaintances.

Regardless of whether you are considering a male or female babysitter, there are more important characteristics to consider. Is the babysitter responsible? Are they a quick thinker? Are they able to respond in an emergency? Are they trained in first aid? Do they enjoy being with your children? Do the children enjoy being with the babysitter?

When trying to find a babysitter, you have to determine what is most important for you. Are your kids a bit unruly and undisciplined? Get a babysitter who can implement your disciplinary instructions well. This could certainly be a female, but more often might be a male. Do you have three girls who all like to play dress-up? A male babysitter probably may not be very entertaining; a female babysitter might be more appropriate. Ultimately, while gender may play a part in selecting a babysitter, it is generally not the deciding factor. Issues like personality and overall responsibility ought to outweigh concerns about gender.

Best Ways of Conceiving a Girl

It is important to understand, first of all, that the only way that you can with any certainty make sure that you are going to conceive a girl is with help from a fertility specialist. Using a procedure such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), a fertility health care provider can separate the man’s sperm into those sperm that will produce a girl and those sperm that will produce a boy. Even so, this method is not 100% effective, and you can sometimes wind up surprised. In addition, few people would be willing or able to use such a fertility health care provider solely for the purpose of conceiving one gender or the other.

Fortunately, there are things that you can do to improve your chance to conceive a girl. To understand how this works, it is important to understand how the sperm determine gender. There are, essentially, two different types of sperm: those that produce girls, and those that produce boys. The two types of sperm tend to be different in a variety of ways. The sperm that produce boys tend to be “stronger” sperm than the sperm that produce girls. However, the sperm that produce boys also tend to die off quicker than the sperm that produce girls.

Knowing this, there are things you can do to help conceive a girl. To conceive a girl, you should have intercourse a few days (generally 3 or 4 days) prior to the time that you ovulate. This allows the sperm that produce a boy to die off, and gives the sperm that produce a girl the chance to fertilize an egg and conceive a girl. This is known as the “Shettles method.” Also, according to the Shettles method, you can conceive a girl by having only shallow penetration during intercourse, which deposits the sperm closer to the vaginal entrance. The vaginal entrance is more acidic than the rest of the vagina, and this will work against the boy sperm. Also, the Shettles method suggests that to conceive a girl you should avoid orgasm during intercourse, as orgasm produces secretions that make the vaginal environment more hospitable to the sperm that produce boys.