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    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008 edited
    Snips and snails and puppydog tails ... and cereal and bananas?

    That could be what little boys are made of, according to surprising new research suggesting that what a woman eats before pregnancy influences the gender of her baby.

    Having a hearty appetite, eating potassium-rich foods including bananas, and not skipping breakfast all seemed to raise the odds of having a boy.

    The British research is billed as the first in humans to show a link between a woman's diet and whether she has a boy or girl.

    It is not proof, but it fits with evidence from test tube fertilization that male embryos thrive best with longer exposure to nutrient-rich lab cultures, said Dr. Tarun Jain. He is a fertility specialist at University of Illinois at Chicago who wasn't involved in the study.

    It just might be that it takes more nutrients to build boys than girls, he said


    It's just the one study, but I got the feeling this is going to get covered to death by the baby-panic magazine/blog community.

    Prepare for a run on bananas as crazed parents 'try for a boy'.

    Personally I just want a healthy child. One who can provide me slave labor in their youth and monetary resources in my dotage.
  1.  (1929.2)
    Whoever wrote that has a side job selling bananas.
  2.  (1929.3)
    Ha! I was just reading this one myself.

    And I can see them at the grocery store doors right now.
  3.  (1929.4)
    I can already see future news about this:

    Couple Fight Ends in Death

    Los Angeles. A pregnant woman died when her husband stuffed a banana in her mouth and the banana got stuck in her throat. She and the husband attempted to remove the banana, but it was "too slippery", and she died of asphyxia seconds later. The husband called 911 while she was still alive. When emergency arrived, they found the husband with a shovel in his hand hastily burying his wife in the backyard.

    "I didn't mean to hurt her", he said, "I just wanted a boy. She didn't."

    When asked why he didn't attempt the Heimlich Maneuver, he said, "The what?". He also says he will plead "not guilty". "I didn't want to kill her, it's just that sometimes I can be kinda... rude."
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008
    OK, so I got a C+ in high school biology, but isn't a child's gender determined by the information coded in sperm? Isn't that why Henry V kept having daughters?

    Supposedly, my mom ate a lot of zucchini when she was pregnant with me. Maybe zucchini gives your child a fast-growing beard.
  4.  (1929.6)
    OK, so I got a C+ in high school biology, but isn't a child's gender determined by the information coded in sperm? Isn't that why Henry V kept having daughters?

    A cogent scientific explination (not mine)

    Sex is determined genetically at conception
    by the inheritance of either two X chromosomes (female) or an X and a Y
    (male). The expression of the sex characteristics doesn't begin until about
    6 weeks gestation. Before that time the fetus is not really male or female,
    but non-specific. The fetus has two non-specific gonads and two sets of
    tubes. If the fetus has a Y chromosome, at 6 weeks a gene called the SRY
    (sex determining region of the Y) turns on. This gene causes the
    degeneration of the female characters and causes the male characters to
    develop. It causes the non-specific gonads to become testes and the tubes to
    become the vas deferens. Once the testes are mature enough another gene
    turns on to start producing testosterone. This causes the internal sex
    organs to develop. Part of the testosterone turns into another hormone which
    then causes the external sex organs to develop. If the Y chromosome isn't
    present the female pattern of development occurs; the female pattern is the
    default pattern so-to-speak. The gonads become ovaries and the tubes become
    fallopian tubes. So even though the gene for maleness is inherited at
    conception, the expression of the trait doesn't begin until about 6 weeks.
    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008
    I heard that if you do it with the woman upside down, juggling tennis raquets and drinking ovaltine, then you'll have...

    ..a big mess. :P
    • CommentAuthorrough night
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008 edited
    I hear boy babies also come from cucumbers, leeks, and carrots. If you want a girl, eat lots of melons...

    I didn't see any mention of how many of these women miscarried. Male fetuses are more likely to conceive, but also more likely to miscarry than female ones. Perhaps extra potassium helps prevent that from happening. Also, the article said that more calories consumed and higher blood sugar levels created a more hospitable environment for male embryos. It looks like this is a miscarriage prevention study rather than the gender determination study the article claims it to be.
  5.  (1929.9)
    Correlation does not equal causation.

    Reminds me of the study from a few years ago, where they discovered that people who brush their teeth more often have fewer heart attacks. SO ... teeth-brushing prevents heart disease.

    Uh ... no.
  6.  (1929.10)
    Correlation does not equal causation.


    But the consumer culture demands options. We want smarter kids, so you get "The Mozart Effect" bullocks. One study, on college kids, showed they did a bit better on math tests immediately after listening to classical music. Even the guy running the study said it may have had more to do with simply listening to something calming before a stressful event.

    Wannabe parents are like fish in a barrel for nonsense. Stroll the baby aisle at a book shop and witness the flummory on sale.
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008
    @orwellseyes - off topic, but props on the new icon.
    • CommentTimeApr 23rd 2008
    I knew of a service that basically prescribed a special diet for prospective mothers who wanted to choose the gender of their child. They had shockingly few complaints, but I remain skeptical about the whole thing.
  7.  (1929.13)
    @orwellseyes Yes, but that ended up being a matter of Cultural Capital... parents who had been more involved with their children's education tended also to be of "upper class values," including listening to classical music.
    Again, with the correlation not equaling causation.

    Makes me wonder about what you crave when pregnant. Maybe the mothers who are gestating potential male children desire the nutrients to be gained from these foods, and so consume them.
  8.  (1929.14)
    The only thing I can think of to say is:
    Yes, sir, we have no bananas,
    We have no bananas today...
  9.  (1929.15)
    Roald Dahl wrote a great story about animal husbandry where the direction the coupling cows faced determined the calf's gender. It ended with the farmer proudly showing off his five sons.

    Love that Dahl.
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
    I'm putting my life's savings into chinese banana-imports right now.
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
    I'm putting my life's savings into chinese banana-imports right now.

    Kinda what I was thinking too!
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2008
    Yeah, I think this is pretty misleading, since I think a quick read will lead a lot of people to think that if they are already pregnant they should mainline bananas for a boy when it doesn't work that way. Me I'm against anything that will let parents determine the sex of their kid. Countries like India and China would have only boys, and there's pretty good evidence that America would become a nation of "little sisters," since studies show most couples want a boy first then maybe a girl.
  10.  (1929.19)
    My girlfriend and I only want girls. I have all the testosterone of Elton John in the 70's and only one male (drag queen) friend and she's only dated women before me and has no male friends.

    The house of McCarthy is not a manly house.
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2008
    I have a daughter and feel also having a boy would be nice. I was of the thought that genetically XX is stronger than XY.