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My Mother Ate a Lot of Tuna

I saw This Article on NPR’s website this morning that basically talked about a study that tried to say that a woman can affect the gender of her unborn child by what she eats while pregnant.


Let’s flash back to grade school/jr high/high school/whenever you got Sex Ed for a moment… There is this thing called the Egg. It is introduced to a thing called a Sperm. The egg is an X, the Sperm is either an X or a Y. Two Xs and the resulting baby is a Girl, an X and a Y and the baby is a boy.

It is a bit more complicated (see below) but for most intents and purposes the biological sex of the fetus happens at the biological level (hormones, etc).

Not at the social/ locational/ dietary/ environmental levels such as what Mom is eating for breakfast.

Funnyily enough while looking up the technical terms for the (see below) educational aspect of this rant I came across another example of stupidity.

From the site (where "birth is a natural process not a medical procedure") I found this internet quiz that you could take that would tell you the gender of your unborn baby. An online test mind you... not any of the medically relevant sort of things... you know, with doctors or trained professions....

There were a whole bunch of questions regarding urine color, shape of tummy, sleeping patterns... and then these darling questions that made me want to band my head against something wooden and scream.

The Dad-to-be is
gaining weight right along with me.
is not gaining weight.

My mother's hair color is
not gray (natural or dyed).

My age at the time of conception was:
Conception took place in the month of....

Hang a thread with a needle over your belly. The thread moves
in circles.
from side to side.

If someone asks you to show them your hands, you:
Show them palm up.
Show them palm down.

How do you pick up a mug?
Body of the mug.

Now wait... before you just assume that these questions have NOTHING to do with ANYTHING, here is the explanations:

Dad-to-be hasn't been gaining weight along with Mom-to-be, so it will be a girl.The maternal grandmother doesn't have gray hair (dyed or natural), so a girl will be born.Since the sum of the mother's age at conception and the number of the month of conception is an odd number, it will be a girl.A needle on a thread held over you belly moves from side-to-side, so it will be a girl.You show them the palm of your hand, so it's a girl.You use the handle, so it's a boy.

The site also had advice on fertility and feeding the baby but I didn’t want to vomit on my keyboard….

Things like this make me seriously doubt my future ability to write fiction... because I can't make crap like this up. (Some lame thread of rational thought that my parents had implanted or something -Thanks Mom!)

"Grr Arg!"

I know I know I know that having babies is a great wonderful natural thing... (even if it is sort of kind of like a medical procedure.... sometimes) but there are times when I think there ought to be some sort of a test beforehand. (Heck, you need a license to drive, to fish, to hunt to get married.... ) I kid (mostly) but sometimes I really wonder about people.

Ok time to take a breath, eat some soup, try to ignore the pounding Harvey Danger song in the back of my mind*, and get back to work.


The See Below Section

At 4 weeks of age the fetus undergoes the Development of wolffian ducts

In both the male and the female the Wolffian duct develops in to the trigone of urinary bladder, a part of the bladder wall. However, further development differentiates between the sexes in the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.

Male development

In a male, it develops into a system of connected organs between the testis and the prostate, namely the rete testis, the efferent ducts, the epididymis, the vas deferens,and the seminal vesicle. The prostate forms from the urogenital sinus.
For this it is critical that the ducts are exposed to testosterone during embryogenesis. Testosterone binds to and activates androgen receptor, affecting intracellular signals and modifying the expression of numerous genes.[1]
In the mature male, the function of this system is to store and mature sperm, and provide accessory semen fluid.

Female development

In the female, in the absence of testosterone support, the Wolffian ducts regresses, and inclusions may persist. The epoophoron and Skene's glands may be present. Also, lateral to the wall of the vagina a Gartner's duct or cyst could develop as a remnant.

Human prenatal sexual differentiation in Fetal age(weeks)
Sex differentiating events

0 weeks
Inactivation of one X chromosome

4 weeks
Development of wolffian ducts

5 weeks
Migration of primordial germ cells in the undifferentiated gonad

6 weeks
Development of müllerian ducts
Differentiation of seminiferous tubules

8 weeks
Regression of müllerian ducts in male fetus

8 weeks
Appearance of Leydig cells. First synthesis of testosterone

9 weeks
Total regression of müllerian ducts. Loss of sensitivity of müllerian ducts in the female fetus

9 weeks
First meiotic prophase in oogonia

10 weeks
Beginning of masculinization of external genitalia

10 weeks
Beginning of regression of wolffian ducts in the female fetus

12 weeks
Fetal testis is in the internal inguinal ring

12-14 weeks
Male penile urethra is completed

14 weeks
Appearance of first spermatogonia

16 weeks
Appearance of first ovarian follicles

17 weeks
Numerous Leydig cells. Peak of testosterone secretion

20 weeks
Regression of Leydig cells. Diminished testosterone secretion

24 weeks
First multilayered ovarian follicles. Canalisation of the vagina

28 weeks
Cessation of oogonia multiplication

28 weeks
Descent of testis

*Ten Internet Brownie Points if you can guess the song.


Anonymous said...

There's only one Harvey Danger song. Flagpole Sitter.

lisahgolden said...

Well, we used to tease The Dancer that she has this huge, dark brown birthmark because I ate so many Oreos when I was pregnant with her.

I didn't know that it also made her a girl!

Kaylia Metcalfe said...

@The Mystery Jen: Brownie Points for you... even if HD had a vew other decent songs as well :P

@Lisa: Heh, well now you know!

socialworkeratheart said...

this cracks me up-and on a side note, many of my friends have done some wacky things (including eating certain things) to try and get a certain gender. Apparently, I was trying too hard/or not hard enough, as I have three of the same, hahaha!

Mojo said...

If it's Harvey Danger, it can only be "Flagpole Sitta" (did they ever do anything else?). Though what that has to do with pregnancy or even tuna I've no idea.

Mercury and transgendering be damned. I'm not giving up my sushi!

JayRod said...

But you have to know what line she was thinking of from the song "Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding, the cretions cloning and feeding, and I don't even own a TV."