A somewhat controversial finding on how women can now choose the gender of their unborn child with increased certainty by watching the amount of food they eat during conception. Eating into a brave new world?
By: Vanessa Uy
When I first heard this recent finding in a health and wellness section of a news broadcast, my first thoughts were, Isn’t this a social rather than a health issue? Given that the research’s findings might benefit both mother and child not just physiologically but psychologically as well, who am I to argue. The findings of this particular research currently implies that women who eat a “healthy” diet – i.e. a higher than their average intake of calories diet – around the time of conception especially a high cereal diet during breakfast increases their chances of having a boy / male child by 50%. (50%!? The last time I heard there were only two genders, a boy and a girl. Is this what they mean by “convoluted statistics”? Its always 50-50, or do they mean more likely to be a boy). The PR representative of the study was Fiona Mathews of Exeter University who delivered the study’s latest findings to the press back in April of 2008.
This research is more than just a recondite abstraction of an academic study on the factors that affect gender determination. This particular research study is inherently made more understandable to the layman due to the “diet factor” of the study. The “dearth” of the number of male / boy children being born in the Industrial West in the past 30 years might be due to women of childbearing age being “persuaded” to consume fewer and fewer calories due to the dictates of contemporary fashion. Add to that an increasingly hectic lifestyle were most women of childbearing age are more often than not chose to skip breakfast just to avoid job tardiness – i.e. being late for work.
Even though this study is first and foremost a health issue, the ramifications have an overwhelming bearing on our contemporary society. Western cultures – or is that most “living cultures” on the planet – has an overwhelming preference for a male heir. The title “Man of the House” still carries power and prestige in the present like it did 5,000 or so years ago. Imagine if the first few wives of King Henry VIII knew something bout this, history would have been written much more differently. Maybe the research data / results of this study will prove very invaluable in countries with a de facto One-Child-Policy. Are you familiar with the title “Man of the house”? It just goes to show that Western Society is a chauvinistic society, at times even misogynic.