Who Needs an Ultrasound?

Why bother with medical technology to figure out the sex of your child when you can just consult a chart?

It is said that thousands of years ago the Chinese developed a calendar to predict a baby’s sex. It was supposedly discovered buried in a Royal tomb about 700 years ago.

Sure it was.

Blue is for boy; pink is for girl. Is it correct?!

conception1.JPG

conception2.JPG

(Can someone recreate the code so that the blue colors create an image of a middle finger sticking up?)

Elyse at Skepchick brazenly says it doesn’t work (the heathen!):

For reference, according to this calendar- my son is a girl, I am a boy and I believe my husband might be a girl. So either we’re dealing with some grossly inaccurate predictions or I’m going to have an awkward conversation with my family in the morning.

An ancient Chinese trick? Not working? My world has been flipped.

The whole thing reminds me of a passage from Jeffrey EugenidesMiddlesex, where the narrator talks about his pre-born past (Desdemona is his grandmother; Chapter Eleven is his brother):

… Desdemona set the silkwood box on the kitchen table and opened the lid. She reached under the wedding crowns and the hair braids to come up with something Chapter Eleven hadn’t seen: a silver spoon. She tied a piece of string to the spoon’s handle. Then, stooping forward, she dangled the spoon over my mother’s swollen belly. And, by extension, over me.

Up until now, Desdemona had had a perfect record: twenty-three correct guesses. She’d known that Tessie was going to be Tessie. She’d predicted the sex of my brother and of all the babies of her friends at church. The only children whose genders she hadn’t divined were her own, because it was bad luck for a mother to plumb the mysteries of her own womb. Fearlessly, however, she plumbed my mother’s. After some initial hesitation, the spoon swung north to south, which meant that I was going to be a boy.

When the chances are (very nearly) 50% of being right, people will go to great lengths to cite anything that has correlated with “correct” results, whether it’s a chart, a spoon, or particular eating habits. It’s very easy to count the hits and ignore the misses. And when it fails, it’s always entertaining to hear the excuses as to why the method didn’t work.


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • Milena

    According to this chart, I’m a boy. This certainly raises some interesting questions…

  • MercuryBlue

    I picked out my siblings and me on the chart just for the fun of it—remind me to tease my brother about being my sister and two of my three sisters about being my brothers—but it should be obvious that doesn’t work. Any given hospital will see however many babies born in any given month, and most of those babies will have been conceived in the same month, and half of those will be male and half female.

  • http://musings.meanderwithme.com Allison

    By this chart, my 3-1/2 year old daughter is a boy. If so, s/he SURE LOVES his/her princess dresses. And the baby in my belly? You know, the one who loves to flash a penis at me with each ultrasound? Apparently is just a well-endowed girl. I’m *fairly* confident that the chart is dead wrong, and a waste of superstitious time!

  • http://kathrynpetroharper.com/mindfullife Kathryn

    I conceived in December at the age of 43 and by this chart should have had a boy. I have a lovely daughter. And based on this chart, I should have been a boy.

    This chart isn’t rocket science. Given there’s only two variables, half the time someone will find confirmation in the chart. Confirmation bias. Like a horoscope, people who are looking for something to recognize will find it.

  • Cindy

    Worked correctly for both of my kids! However, according to the chart, I should have been a boy…….

  • K

    Well, with it clearly being wrong so many times, maybe it was just translated backwards? LOL LOL LOL
    Yes, my son should have been a girl. Does that mean he’s gay? LOL LOL LOL

  • Mriana

    My mother was 20 when she conceived me August 31, 1965 (their wedding night) and exactly 9 months to the day I was born… a girl. I was 22 when I conceived my son in June of ’88. I was 24 when I conceived my second son in September of ’91. So, nope, I’d say it’s wrong. Dead wrong and I say that, because some cultures practiced infencide (spelling?) if it was a girl and I think the Chinese was one group who did for a while.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    I have twins. One of each gender. In the spirit of optimism for superstitious nonsense I can report that the chart is exactly half right. It’s also curious to note that no Chinese women become fertile until they are 18 and abruptly lose this fertility at 45. Another fine example of how magic rules people’s lives.

  • Jen

    Oh my god, I have a penis.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    The chart looks like someone actually took a scientific survey, but neglected error bars.

  • Lyz

    I was also intrigued with the amazing fact that the Chinese are apparently unable to conceive before they turn 18. Wow! Now THAT’S some magic we need over here – then at least we wouldn’t have to worry about teenage pregnancy!

  • http://otherwhirled.com commander other

    though i love her dearly, my mom was stupid and was 17 when she conceived me. thanks to this chart, i have no way of knowing if i’m a boy or a girl. please advise.

  • http://hoverFrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Lyz, maybe the Chinese have an abstinence only policy on sex education. After their 18th birthdays they get taken into a special room and given the knowledge of contraception. Hence the sudden occurrence of pregnancies.

    It’s so simple when you think about it.

  • Cade

    According to that chart, pretty much any woman having a baby at 19 will have a boy, and at 22 a girl. How can they overlook something like that?


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