As youngsters in the past, we thought of how many children we'd like to have, two maybe three, governed perhaps by the number of kids we call siblings. We have our grandparents, who gave birth to nine girls, the 10th a boy, all in an attempt to acquire a gender different from their existing offspring.
This is, however, almost unheard of post 21st century. Aside from In-Vitro Fertilization and adoption where science has made it possible for potential parents to choose the desired gender, could there be some hint of truth behind natural gender selection?
While there are no scientifically proven studies yet to support this, supposed theories, tricks, and old myths do exist nonetheless.
· Early Bird Gets the Girl?
A commonly touted method towards conceiving a girl is intercourse 2 to 3 days before ovulation, while intercourse on the day of ovulation maximizes chances of having a boy. Women possess two X chromosomes (XX), while men carry one X and one Y (XY). Women pass on half of their pair of chromosomes, men likewise. All eggs are X chromosomes; sperm can either be X or Y; essentially, the man determines the baby's gender. The Y sperm is smaller and lighter compared to the X sperm. During ovulation, the Y sperm have a competitive advantage over their X counterpart as they are able to reach the newly released egg quicker. The X sperm, however, experience the upper hand a few days prior to ovulation as they stick around for longer periods of time.
· Calories and baby boys
Research done in the UK showed a correlation between breakfast cereal, foods rich in potassium, vitamins (B12, C and D), and conceiving baby boys. Another frequent purported consumption of burgers increased the chances of a male child. A cup of coffee 20 minutes before intercourse stimulates the production of Y sperm (to favor conceiving a boy) is yet another controversial old wives' tale.
· Sexual positions
This theory abounds among both the young and old today. It is said that certain positions during sex make a difference; for example, shallow forms produce girls, whereas more penetrative tactics create boys.
The vast consensus regarding the latter, in particular, could perhaps mean there may actually be some truth to this. However, all the above mentioned remain mere speculation as adequate research is yet to be done.