General Question

kfingerman's avatar

Can people really tell the sex of my unborn baby?

Asked by kfingerman (992points) September 22nd, 2010

I mean, the ultrasound technicians sure, if we wanted to know…but I’m talking about the randoms on the street, friends, even practitioners such as midwives, acupuncturists, etc. Everyone has an opinion, and many of them claim to have good track records. Is there anything to it?

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12 Answers

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Nope. It’s all old wives tales (with a 50/50 success rate).

kfingerman's avatar

That’s my intuition as well, but there are a lot of people (many of them quite trained and experienced) who claim otherwise. Someone must have studied this empirically

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MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@kfingerman I’ve heard very educated people say insanely stupid things. If it’s not their actual field, all bets go out the window.

Trillian's avatar

I worked L&D for a couple years. It seemed to me that lots of baby girls were carried high, and boys much lower. This was the topic of much discussion among all the staff and the births seemed to bear this out.
I carried both of my daughters high, right up under my ribs, and my son was pretty low in my pelvis.
But like the others who answered already, I have no empiric data to back me up.

Randy's avatar

Up until my birth, everyone, including doctors and ultrasound techs, thought I was going to be a baby girl. My mom didn’t even have a boy name picked out when I was born.

With a 50% probability and a little luck on your side, it’s easy to have a good track record.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

No, ultrasound and MRI are the only ways to tell definitively, and MRI is generally inadvisable during pregnancy. Everyone else is relying on probability. I was the same as @Randy – my mum was convinced I was going to be a girl, but she forgot that we only ever have boys in our family.

robmandu's avatar

@Trillian‘s anecdotal experiences are what I heard most often when my wife was pregnant with our kids. And they were right for us, too.

GladysMensch's avatar

Everyone told us my wife was having a girl for our first, and a boy for our second. All of this was apparently based on how high she carried the babies, how she felt… etc. We ended up with two daughters. My advice, if you’re not getting proof through an ultrasound, paint the nursery light green.

gorillapaws's avatar

Those who believe this are either consistently lucky or suffering from Confirmation Bias where we tend to remember all the times we were right and forget the times we were wrong. For every consistently lucky person out there there are statistically unlucky people out there as well. The law of random numbers dictate that there will always be some people who get lucky frequently, as well as people who are consistently unlucky. This isn’t a “magical sense of luck” but the statistical, coincidence kind. The fact that there are many lucky people you see who are consistently lucky are the product of the Survivorship bias.

Confirmation bias is hardwired into the human brain—it’s why men “always forget to leave the seat down” and why us men know we leave it down “99% of the time”.

zenvelo's avatar

I’ve heard the “riding high/low” before but it seems to change which sex is high or low based on the person.

I always went with “glowing” attractive moms to be carrying boys, and the moms looking worn out and dead tired as carrying girls, from the old wives tale of “girls take the beauty from their mother”.

But really, ultrasound’s are the only way; and the aren’t 100%. A friend was told it was for sure a girl after the ultrasound; turns out the boy was hiding his penis and the technician didn’t get a clear picture. Poor kid’s infant clothes were all pink and flowery!

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