A Kerala daily newspaper called Mangalam figured it is time to give couples some sureshot ways to have the child of their dreams - a boy, of course. So it went far enough to suggest these ‘scientific tips’ to help couples conceive a male child! Sample the six amazing tips here:
- The woman must increase her consumption of foods like mutton, dry grapes and salty food
- The couple should have sex on certain specific days to increase their chances of conceiving a boy. This is because the “strength” of the male sperm is supposedly stronger and more aggressive on these days
- The woman should face in the west direction while sleeping
- She needs to eat a lot, almost stuff herself with food, so that she can have a baby boy as opposed to a "weaker" baby girl
- Potential mothers-to-be should not skip breakfast if they want a baby boy
- The man should avoid food items that have high acidity content, as it will reduce the "power" of the semen making a girl child likelier
What science really says about the gender of your baby
If it isn’t obvious already, there is limited scientific backing to the above tips. The sex of a child is determined by the chromosomes in the father's sperm and the chance of a girl or a boy at conception is completely random. There is no scientific evidence on any 'tip' that will affect this statistical chance when your baby is conceived naturally. Also, the "strength" of a sperm does not affect the baby's sex. The only thing that matters is the fertilising sperm, and this is random.
To work around that, the article’s disclaimer doesn’t "guarantee" a boy even after following the tips. But there is one thing it proves without doubt: even in the 21st century, India is yet to leave it’s misogynistic attitude behind. And this shameful behavior continues to be supported by various propaganda and media, often, only to use this obsession for monetary returns while leaving all morals and ethics behind. Such a news story is even sadder in the context of the fact that Kerala is the most literate state in India, with 93.91% literacy! However, never mind how educated the people are, such articles are still considered good enough to be published there. Only goes to show that education doesn’t necessarily bring awareness. It’s sad that such orthodox thinking is prevalent even in the most literate state of the country!
Why India dislikes girl babies so much
It’s a shame that a nation that worships women can’t accept them as daughters in their own homes! On one hand, women like Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu are bringing glory to the nation in traditionally male dominated fields. And all of us cheer them. But on the other hand, we still feel that daughters aren’t good enough or strong enough as boys. We are tied down by traditions and ridiculous reasons that make people feel that girls are a liability. These reasons include:
- When she gets married, she will leave the house and cannot be counted on for support in old age
- She will need a hefty dowry
- She will not contribute to the family income, at least not as much as boys do
- There is a higher chance of ‘disgrace’ to the family in case of anything ‘wrong’
Sigh! Unfortunately, the situation seems to be getting worse. The latest census figures released in 2011 show that for every 1,000 boys there were 814 girls. This is much lower as compared to the statistics in 1961 that listed the number of girls at 976. Gita Aravamudan, Indian author of "Disappearing Daughters: The Tragedy of Female Foeticide" commented on the story saying:"This (Mangalam) article is even more ridiculous than usual, but such ideas are common. It shows that attitudes like this still flourish despite initiatives taken by the Indian government, NGOs and health workers. The message isn't going through: people still value boys more than girls."
These numbers need to be a wake up call for us as Indians. It’s long overdue that we accept our daughters and nurture them - not shun them! Babies are harbingers of joy, regardless of their gender, and your upbringing and thinking - not their gender - molds them as adults. Gender shouldn’t be considered a factor when having a baby - your child will bring you delight no matter what their gender! Thankfully, the government and responsible media houses have been working towards impeding malpractices against women. They have been trying to reduce the unfortunate cases of female foeticide and female infanticide through awareness and education. As representatives of a today’s India, we should be supporting these endeavours as well as boycotting unethical reporting that subtly supports societal evils.Also Read: My Daughter Isn’t As Good As a Son And I Don’t Want Her To Be
Today, women work side by side with men in various pursuits. They are equally capable, equally responsible. Running behind a coveted male heir has cost us a lot already, and is sure to make things worse in the future if we don’t work towards a change.