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Boy or Girl? A Few Myths Used For Predicting Gender

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When women have babies, they make guesses as to the gender of their baby. Gender prediction is, in some respects, probably one of the oldest practices known to humankind. As science has progressed, accurate gender prediction methods have become available. Still, there are many myths that have grown up around the idea of predicting baby genders

Most expectant parents are anxious to know the sex of their baby. In addition to being able to prepare emotionally and mentally, telling the sex of the baby ahead of time is beneficial in everything from how you register for your baby shower to how you decorate your baby's room.

Drano Gender Prediction Test

There are many myths about gender prediction that sound like they might be scientific, but they are actually not scientific: the Drano test is one of these myths. This test proposes to predict a baby's gender by mixing urine with Drano, and then examine the resulting color. This test is performed after the fourth month of pregnancy. The Drano test must be performed outside in a glass jar as there is a bubbling chemical reaction accompanied by bubbling, and a caustic, smelly odor which occurs when the urine is added to the Drano. The color is examined during the reaction. If the mixture darkens to a brownish color within the first 10 seconds, it is a boy.


If there is no darkening or color change after 10 to 15 seconds, it is a girl. While it sounds almost scientific, numerous studies have failed to find any chemical in maternal urine that will interact with the Drano to accurately predict gender. In addition, these results are difficult to interpret because of the many different variations in the color of the final mixture. The Drano method is not a reliable way to determine a baby’s gender, and it could have serious side effects for the mom and baby if the fumes are inhaled or the mixture contacts the skin. It is not recommended as a baby gender prediction method.


Chinese Gender Prediction Chart

Legend states that the Chinese gender chart is over 90% accurate when used properly. This method was once considered as superstition in the western world, but it is now widely used in many countries. The baby gender predictor is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. First, the mother’s age must be converted to the proper format. With this information and the Chinese month of conception, the calendar can determine whether a boy or girl is expected. Since it is easier, simpler and cheaper to use than ultrasound, the Chinese gender chart is still used today to help determine the optimal date to give birth to a boy or girl. However, most often this chart is for entertainment purposes only.

Carrying High or Low Gender Prediction

Many of the myths about gender prediction have to do with old wives' tales. One of the old wives' tales for predicting babies’ genders has to do with the way that women are carrying their babies. In this particular old wives' tale, if a woman is carrying a baby “low”, she should expect a boy. If she carries “high”, she should expect a girl. This depends on a woman’s uterine tone, muscle tone and the position of the baby.

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Food Cravings Gender Prediction

It is said that the particular food cravings a woman has is caused by the gender of her baby. So, craving chocolate or other sweets during pregnancy would mean that she is going to have a girl, whereas if she craves sour things like lemons, she will have a boy. Of course, pregnancy cravings have more to do with a combination of nutritional needs and psychological factors.

Old "Scientific" Methods of Gender Prediction

Some old wives' tales used for predicting a baby's gender may even have been thought to be scientific at one time. For example, it was thought that the baby's heartbeat could be used to predict gender. The theory states that if a baby's heart rate is 140 beats per minute or above, it is a girl. A boy will have a heart rate below 140. While this seems to be a quick and easy baby gender prediction method, there is no scientific evidence that this theory is accurate. Medical research has proven there is no correlation between fetal heart rate and the gender of the baby.

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Other Methods of Gender Prediction

Another unscientific but fun gender prediction test is the needle or wedding ring test. In this test, a woman dangles a needle or wedding ring over her belly. If the needle or wedding ring swings in a strong circular motion, she is expecting a girl. If it moves in a to-and-fro motion like a pendulum, she is expecting a boy. An alternate version of this baby gender prediction method is to dangle the needle or wedding ring over the expectant mom's wrist instead of belly.

Many people also say that an easy way to tell if a woman is having a boy or girl is to determine if she is more or less attractive than before she is pregnant. One version is that if she is less attractive, she is having a boy. This is because of the hormonal mix between the two genders. However, an opposite translation is that if a woman is less attractive, she is expecting a girl because the daughter is sucking out her mom’s beauty.

There are indeed a variety of gender prediction tests that people have used to determine the gender of their baby before their baby is born. Some of these tests are unscientific and fall into the category of myth, while other tests are actually fairly reliable in terms of gender prediction.

The most reliable gender prediction tests are genetic tests and prenatal tests done with amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS). However, these sorts of invasive tests are rarely done for the sole purpose of gender prediction, as there are risks to the mom and baby. An ultrasound is probably the next most reliable gender prediction test. How reliable an ultrasound is at gender prediction has to do with a variety of factors, including the skill and experience of the ultrasound technician. Done at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy, gender prediction with ultrasound is thought to be between 80-99% reliable.

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