One of the most popular literary and debate topic in primary schools is “Boys are better than girls.” You must have probably participated in this kind of debate either supporting or opposing the motion. While the focus of this post is not whether boys are actually better than girls, we can’t shy away from the fact that many parents today or to narrow it down, you probably want to be able to have some control over the gender of your next child.
Children, for ages now, have been received and regarded as a blessing. In Africa, all children are cherished but male children have always been more adored and desired by all parents, even mothers. Based on my findings, most ladies want to have boys. That fact has always amazed me. Gradually, due to civilization, things are changing. A lot of awareness have been created around gender equality. Despite that fact, parents still want to be able to determine whether their next child will be a boy or a girl.
Reasons why you want to decide the gender of your child
There are a number of reasons why couples want to decide the sex of their children.
- Cultural reasons: In a continent like Africa, most couples generally will prefer to have sons. In fact, despite the fact that gender equality awareness is growing, the preference for sons is still very much strong and on the increase.
- Medical reasons: Some couples want to be able to decide the sex of their next child in order to get rid of genetic diseases like Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy and Haemophilia A which occur in male individuals but are carried and or transferred by female individuals. If you have a family with this medical history, you most likely will want to have all girls, right?
- Family balancing: Some couples would rather want to have a “balance” of both sexes rather than have all boys or all girls. Personally, I come from a family where all the children are boys. I still wish I had a sister. My mum also wanted that.
- Personal biases: Some couples have personal biases as to why they want a particular gender at any point in time. Most couples want a son first and for various reasons. You would meet couples that say they want a boy first because they feel raising a boy would be less strenuous than raising a girl. Some say that older sons would do a better job at looking after their younger ones than girls. All these reasons are simply personal biases which, frankly, we are all entitled to have ours.
Here are different ways to determine the gender of your next child
No matter your reason for wanting to determine the gender of your next child, the truth is that you can. How? Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART)
- Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis: This is the genetic analysis and classification of embryos before they are implanted. It is the best scientific method of selecting the gender of your next child. This is because it is almost 100 per cent sure that the desired sex would be selected. The process involves the woman having her ovaries stimulated to produce eggs after which the eggs are removed from her body and fertilized using her partner’s sperms. A small cell is removed from the resulting embryos and analyzed in order to determine the gender. The embryo of the desired sex is then transferred into the womb of the woman with the hope that it will connect to the uterine lining and grow into a viable pregnancy.
- Mirosort/Sperm sorting: Here, the sperms are sorted with the aid of fluorescent technology into Y chromosome (boy) carrying sperms and X chromosome for the girl carrying sperms. This technology is actually based on the fact that X chromosome is significantly larger than the Y chromosome. A sorter is used to identify and separate the sperms after a fluorescent DNA stain has been made to attach to the DNA of each sperm. The sorted samples can be retrieved in 3-4 weeks. Based on the desired gender, the “correct” sperm is used to inseminate the woman or fertilize her egg. The probability of having a boy is lower than that of having a girl with the chances of having a boy being 73 – 81 per cent while that of a girl is 88 – 92 per cent.
- Natural method: This is one method most people are familiar with. It is believed that the sperm cells carrying the Y chromosome (boy) are faster but do not last as long as the sperm cells carrying the X chromosome (girl). Therefore, if a woman wants to have a male child, she should aim to have sex as close as possible to her next ovulation in order create the chance for the male sperm cell to beat that of the female in the race to the egg. If the woman, however, wants a girl, she should have sex about 2 – 4 days before her next ovulation. Please note however that this method has not been proven to work scientifically.
Hopefully, this post was helpful as always. What sex would you want your next child to be and why? Please answer this in the comment section below. To bell the cat, I will go first…