The Spectacle Blog

Conceiving boys

By on 4.24.08 | 12:14PM

I'm quite skeptical of this story:


CHICAGO (AP) Snips and snails and puppydog tails ... and cereal and bananas? That could be what little boys are made of, according to surprising new research suggesting that what a woman eats before pregnancy influences the gender of her baby.

Having a hearty appetite, eating potassium-rich foods including bananas, and not skipping breakfast all seemed to raise the odds of having a boy.

A question for these researchers -- since diet varies dramatically across cultures, while the gender balance among newborn babies is quite constant save where girls are aborted, isn't it utterly implausible that diet significantly influences gender?

Later in the article there's this:
Women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal daily were 87 percent more likely to have boys than those who ate no more than one bowlful per week.

87 percent?! Were this true breakfast cereal would seem to pose the most significant threat to mainatining the gender balance in the history of humanity.

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