Gender selection is debated since many years (Gadit, 2012). Gender selection is the ability to choose a girl or a boy before you get pregnant, and refers to the utilization of medical techniques to choose the gender of the fetus (Weiss, 2014). Gender selection is associated with the proliferation of technologies, such as prenatal ultrasound and fetal termination, which help couples to give birth to a child of a preferred gender for medical, personal, cultural, or economic reasons (Thiele & Leier, 2010).

Gender selection is the ability to choose a girl or a boy before you get pregnant. Some methods are used to assist in changing the odds towards the gender being selected. Methods such as selective abortion and infanticide resulted in birth ratios as high as 130 males per 100 females in some countries. Gender selection is surrounded with many debates. The purpose of this position statement is to present opponents and proponents’ viewpoints regarding gender selection. More to be done in this regard such as: the decisiveness of couples and physicians in issues related to gender selection; centers providing gender selection must keep a balanced gender ratio within the center; gender selection should only be done after proper informative and implicative counseling about many issues such as how to use healthy embryos of the unwanted gender in research, or their donation to infertile couples, or their transfer to the genetic mother. However, there are a lot of different theories and approaches to natural gender selection but very little scientific study. As there’s no solid evidence, medical experts warn against taking them too seriously. Some people say there’s strong anecdotal evidence and that there’s no harm in trying them, as very few methods are intrusive.


There are three core motives for engaging in gender selection (World Health Organization [WHO], 2011). These are 1) medical reasons: such as preventing the birth of children affected or at risk of gender-linked disorders; 2) family balancing reasons: where couples choose to have a child of one gender because they already have one or more child of the other gender; and 3) gender preference reasons: often in favor of male from cultural, social and economic reasons, and as a result of policies requiring couples to limit reproduction to one child, as in China.

At present, it is possible to select the gender of a baby by two common methods: 1) Separating the X and Y chromosome bearing sperms using Micro Sort TM sperm separation (Serour, 2004), and 2) Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) (Serour, 2004). The natural gender ratio at birth ranges from 102 to 106 males per 100 females (WHO, 2011). However, gender selection had resulted in birth ratios as high as 130 males per 100 females (WHO, 2011). In addition, in the United States of America (USA), 90% of couples reported engaging in gender selection via sperm sorting for family balancing and 80% of those couples desired girls (WHO, 2011).



In general terms, “gender” refers to the biological differences between males and females, such as the genitalia and genetic differences. “Gender” is more difficult to define, but it can refer to the role of a male or female in society, known as a gender role, or an individual’s concept of themselves, or gender identity. Sometimes, a person’s genetically assigned sex does not line up with their gender identity. These individuals might refer to themselves as transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming.

Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed.  This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.

Gender is hierarchical and produces inequalities that intersect with other social and economic inequalities.  Gender-based discrimination intersects with other factors of discrimination, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, age, geographic location, gender identity and sexual orientation, among others. This is referred to as inter-sectionalism.

Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs. Gender and sex are related to but different from gender identity. Gender identity refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s physiology or designated sex at birth.



It’s one of the first things that everyone asks a pregnant woman: Is it a boy or a girl? Throughout history, many parents didn’t want to wait until the actual birth to find out. They’d wave crystals over the mother or consult the stars. They’d hang a ring over the mother’s tummy or measure the baby’s heart rate — and have at least a 50/50 chance of guessing correctly.

Now, of course, there are much more accurate ways to determine gender before a baby is born. If you’re at least 12 weeks pregnant, your doctor can probably tell you the sex of your baby with a high degree of confidence. That is, if you really want to know.

Apart from the necessity for clinical intervention and the cost, which can be high, many parents find that these techniques are just one step too far in meddling with nature. Natural sex selection methods that require no medical intervention in the fertilization process therefore have always been of great interest to the general public. Their effectiveness, however, is often questioned among medical professionals and reliable evidence in peer-reviewed articles is scarce.


Parents who want to pick out a name or stock up on baby clothes before the big day often look forward to their ultrasound appointment. Not only do they get to see an image of their baby, but they also have a good chance of learning its gender. (Doctors routinely use ultrasound imaging early in pregnancy to measure a baby’s size and check for birth defects or other problems, not to check gender.)

By the 12th week of pregnancy, most babies have distinctly male or female genitals, and ultrasound can provide a good view of the sex organs if the baby happens to be in the right position. A study published in Ultrasound Obstetrics and Gynecology found that ultrasound was about 70 percent accurate at determining gender in the 11th week. By the 12th week, accuracy jumps to nearly 99 percent. By the 13th week, a good ultrasound picture is extremely accurate.

Still, don’t count on it to be foolproof. Babies don’t always cooperate when they’re having their picture taken. Ask the doctor or ultrasound technician if he or she really got a clear, unobstructed view of the baby’s genitals. If the expert is confident, you can be too. If not, you just might have to wait for another ultrasound or find out on the big day.


Any test that involves taking a genetic sample from the baby, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS), can also determine gender with near-perfect accuracy. However, these tests occasionally cause miscarriage (a 2006 study found the risk to be roughly 1 in 370 pregnancies). For that reason, a doctor would not use them solely to tell if a baby is a boy or a girl. But if you’re having one of these tests for another reason, and still want to know the gender of your baby, it’s a good time to ask.

And then there’s the other option: waiting until the baby is actually born. When you finally hold that little bundle in your arms, you’ll learn all you need to know. Boy or girl, it will be yours.

If your prenatal screening tests come up positive for a genetic disorder, your doctor will likely order an amniocentesis (or “amnio”) to confirm these results and test for chromosomal disorders (such as Turner syndrome or neural tube defects). Amnios are usually performed between weeks 15-20 of pregnancy, and with them, a doctor should also be able to determine the gender of your baby. However, these tests unfortunately carry some risks, so you should not have them done for the sake of gender determination alone.


Timing of sex – Shettles theory & Billings Method

Female sperm are heavier and live longer than male sperm so if you have sex a few days before ovulation and then abstain (while the male sperm die), this should increase the chances of conceiving a girl.

Male sperm are lighter in weight and swim faster than female ones so are more likely to reach the egg. Therefore, having sex on the day of ovulation should increase the chances of conceiving a boy.

Dr Landrum Shettles developed this theory in the US in the 1960s. It’s complemented by the Billings Method, which is about timing sex around the consistency of vaginal mucus (when it’s thin and clear for boys, thicker and stickier for girls). It’s said that couples using this method tend to have boys more than girls.

Advocates claim 75% but there’s only a tiny amount of medical evidence in the UK to support it.

Confusingly, another theory exists based on observations that couples that didn’t live together before conceiving had more girls. They were thought to be less likely to have sex at the time of ovulation, backing up the idea that conceiving four or five days before ovulation was more likely to produce a boy.



 Male sperm are more vulnerable and the vagina becomes less acidic closer to the cervix. So if penetration is deep (woman-on-top or man-behind positions), the male sperm will enter a more alkaline environment and are more likely to survive the short journey. Therefore, deeper positions should mean a boy is more likely.

Shallow penetration should favour your chances of conceiving a girl – the slower female sperm are hardly enough to withstand the acidic conditions at the entrance to the vagina so could make it through to the egg after the male sperm have died off.

Not high, since the theory fails to take into account that the difference in lifespan between male and female sperm is a matter of days, not minutes.

Medical sceptics say that force of ejaculation and physics of sexual position don’t play a part in getting the sperm to their destination more quickly – that’s determined by the chemistry of cervical mucus.



Abstaining for a few days before making love increases your chances of conceiving a boy. The greater the volume of sperm, the more male sperm should be present, so theoretically there’s a greater chance that a male sperm survives and fertilises the egg before a female sperm can reach it.

Not high. Sceptics say that with more sperm, the chances of you getting pregnant may be higher, but there’s no gender factor.


The minerals in your diet could affect your metabolism and the environment of your eggs.

– To improve conditions for male sperm you need potassium (in meat, bananas, apricots and celery).

– To improve conditions for female sperm you need more magnesium-rich food (in nuts, soya beans and leafy green vegetables).

There’s no scientific data on humans to support the potassium or magnesium theories, although experts say diet does seem to play some part in gender selection.

Historical events have shown that famine can result in more boys being born but also that women weighing less than 54.5kg are more likely to have girls. This could mean that the type of food and nutrients available to those people played a part, or that calorie intake has an effect – but a low-calorie diet has a very different effect to malnutrition.



If you reach orgasm before your partner, your vagina becomes more alkaline, which creates a better environment for male sperm. Female sperm survive better in the naturally acidic environment of your vagina, so climaxing first would favour the conception of boys.

Little. Prolonged foreplay has the same effect of increasing vaginal secretions, which could be just as effective at reducing its acidity – but no one has suggested female foreplay as a method for conceiving boys.



Male sperm favour alkaline conditions, so douching (flooding the vagina via a syringe) with a dilute alkaline solution, such as sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) before intercourse increases the chances of conceiving a boy.

There’s a very small amount of medical evidence that backs up this theory, but some experts warn women against putting sodium bicarbonate into their vagina because they may not know how diluted to make it, and in any case, the acid in the vagina is there for necessary protection against infections like thrush.


Chorionic Villus Sampling

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is an invasive diagnostic test in which your doctor removes sample chorionic villi from the placenta and examines them for certain genetic abnormalities, such as cystic fibrosis and Down syndrome. This test can be performed as early as the 10th week of pregnancy.

As with amniocentesis, CVS is usually done if you have tested positive during your prenatal screenings. It can also reveal your baby’s gender with up to 99% accuracy. Much like amnio, however, it also has risks (like uterine infection, or even miscarriage), and it should not be performed merely to determine your baby’s gender.


Cell-free DNA Testing

Starting at the 10th week of pregnancy, your doctor can also order a blood test for chromosomal conditions such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18. During this test, the doctor will look for certain fetal DNA fragments that can point to the presence of abnormal DNA.

Since the DNA being examined also includes your baby’s chromosomes, your doctor will be able to determine the baby’s gender by checking for the presence of the male Y chromosome. If it is absent, your baby will almost certainly be female.


In Vitro Fertilization

If you choose to undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF), you can find out the sex of your baby as early as the start of your IVF procedure(s). The screening will involve additional costs, but it produces results with 100% accuracy.


Gender Prediction Tests

Finally, while your results may not be as accurate, you can still have some fun by testing out various gender prediction tests. For instance, some have claimed that one sex has a faster heart rate, but there is no scientific evidence to support this. If you wish, you can purchase a gender prediction kit and enjoy using it to guess at your baby’s gender as you wait for the final reveal through any of the methods above or at the birth itself.


The desire of the human species to control the gender of its progeny prior to conception has always existed. Reasons range from family balancing to culturally imposed preference for boys to prevention of sex-linked hereditary diseases. In Western society, parents have a strong preference for a balanced composition of sexes in their families and, more specifically, the yearning for a girl in all-boy families tempts parents to revise their family size goals upwards.

Another way to influence offspring’s sex is by controlling the time between intercourse and ovulation. Y-bearing spermatozoa are supposedly slightly lighter and faster but also more fragile and shorter-lived than X-bearing spermatozoa. Intercourse close to ovulation would therefore favour boys.

Originally posted on April 27, 2021 @ 10:55 am

About Peter Lawson 2732 Articles
Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.

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