Anti-ScienceParenting

Usurping the Ultrasound

Spoiler Alert: If you are pregnant and don’t want to know the sex of your baby, don’t click this link and don’t read after the jump.

I know most people get duped into using crazy new-fangled ultrasound technologies put forth by the great Western-medicine-conspiracy to disfigure children (so doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can make butt-loads of money fixing them… or something.) And one of the great draws of such technology (aside from detecting birth defects, fetal age, and the health and well-being of the fetus) is that naive and impatient mommies-to-be can use it to determine their babies’ genders.

But the good news is that you no longer have to pay those greedy hospital bastards to find out your pre-born’s sex! It turns out that there is a thousands-year old calendar* posted at Mothering.com that will determine it for you:

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.

Ooooohh ancient Chinese secret! And not found in just any tomb, but a Royal tomb (with a capital ‘R’).

If that doesn’t scream “reliable and rational” I don’t know what does… so here it is:

 

I couldn’t help but find this instruction to be a bit insulting:

To find the prediction, find the mother’s age at conception (across the top of the table) and then the month in which conception occurred. Follow the column and row to the intersecting point. The color of the box tells you what the prediction is.

Blue = Boy and Pink = Girl

Write that one down so you’ll remember it later: blue is for baby boy, pink is for baby girl. Glad they clarified that for me… as well as telling me how to read a clearly marked Excel spreadsheet mystical ancient psychic calendar.

I guess though, if you’re stupid enough to think this chart is going to predict your baby’s gender, you might actually need that much help reading it

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.

*calendar does not contain nude Skepchicks and therefore may contain elements of magical thinking.

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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20 Comments

  1. Elyse, I'm a shift worker and I have to go to bed soon to wake up again in just a few hours to work on the railways.

    The article that you linked to was so boring and anti-scientific, it's making me sleepy. Thanks to your tireless efforts, I can get some sleep and do my job properly when I wake up. You have made the railways of Australia a little bit safer.

    I have two questions:

    1. For the mathematicians, is the boy/girl pattern in the spreadsheet truly random, or are there non-random elements?

    2. Which Royal?

  2. Those wacky ancient chinese, eh? It wasn’t enough with the paper and fireworks, they

    could also determine the sex of a baby before birth _and_ they even discovered our calendar first

    You know, there was so much ridiculousness in the concept alone that I didn't even realize they were using the Gregorian Calender "thousands" of years ago!

    Maybe it was originally made for the Roman calendar and adapted later.

    or………..maybe its just crap.

  3. Wasn't there a scam (in New York, I think) which offered to tell the sex of an unborn child, money back if they were wrong? You sent them some sample or other and they sent back the sex of the child. Roughly 50% of the time their guess was wrong and they, quite correctly, returned the money; the other 50% of the time it is was right and they kept the money. So long as 50% of the fee covers the postage, etc…

  4. Wasn’t there a scam (in New York, I think) which offered to tell the sex of an unborn child, money back if they were wrong? You sent them some sample or other and they sent back the sex of the child. Roughly 50% of the time their guess was wrong and they, quite correctly, returned the money; the other 50% of the time it is was right and they kept the money. So long as 50% of the fee covers the postage, etc…

    In fact there is such a scam, and I wrote about it a year ago! You can find it right here: "So you want to be a scam artist!"

    On that note, I've also added a "Parenting" category, in response to reader feedback asking for more breeder news.

  5. I know most people get duped into using crazy new-fangled ultrasound technologies put forth by the great Western-medicine-conspiracy to disfigure children (so doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can make butt-loads of money fixing them… or something.)

    My wife had ultrasounds done for each of our two children (boys), and they are both autistic. Hey! Wait a second! It’s not the vaccines, it’s the evil ultrasound conspiracy!

  6. Heh. It got my son's sex right; so does a flipped coin, 50% of the time.

    Considering the Chinese cultural bias towards boy babies, if there had been any actual method for choosing babies' sex then I'm sure there'd be historical record of gender imbalance.

    Btw the "did it work?" poll is at 57% yes, 43% no, with 16540 respondents. On the surface this would seem to indicate that the method slightly works, but my suspicion is that there's a slight bias towards people clicking if it did work for them.

  7. Btw the “did it work?” poll is at 57% yes, 43% no, with 16540 respondents. On the surface this would seem to indicate that the method slightly works, but my suspicion is that there’s a slight bias towards people clicking if it did work for them.

    There might also be a bias that people come back and vote a few times if it worked for them.

  8. Let's ignore for now the "fact" that the Chinese didn't use a Gregorian calendar, and that "thousands" of years ago mothers were much younger than they are now … how am I supposed to know my gender?! My mother was 37 when I was conceived, which is way off on the right of that chart.

  9. On that note, I’ve also added a “Parenting” category, in response to reader feedback asking for more breeder news.

    Thanks, Rebecca!

    Let’s ignore for now the “fact” that the Chinese didn’t use a Gregorian calendar, and that “thousands” of years ago mothers were much younger than they are now … how am I supposed to know my gender?! My mother was 37 when I was conceived, which is way off on the right of that chart.

    There is a second chart, I just didn't think I needed to post both. I figured one chart was more than enough crap. I'll put it up, though so you can see if you are a boy or a girl.

    (Who wants to take bets that 2000 years ago there weren't any 37 year old pregnant Chinese women?)

  10. This is only part of the chart – when I was pregnant, I saw a version of this "chart" that went up to age 40. It also didn't use Jan-Dec – you had to work out your age by the Chinese calendar before you started, noting that you needed to count your age from YOUR conception, so you needed to add a year to your age to account for it [I think that you were supposed to be in the womb for a year back then, maybe?].

    This could be why many people are coming up with the fact that they are supposed to be a different sex than what they are!

  11. Aaargh! the first time the page loaded, it only showed the first picture which went up to age 31 – after I submitted the comment (which I can't figure out how to edit) the page reloaded to show both parts of the "chart"

  12. For another, if they have had this ancient secret for so long, and they all want male heir babies, why are there females in China?

    Actually, they're all female impersonators. And they have actually been reproducing via cloning technology, like the Raelians do (though they think THEY were the first ones contacted by the Space Aliens).

  13. It seems that if you are 21, 30 or 32, you cannot have male children unless you're getting laid on a cold winternight. Yet at the same time, the reverse is true for 18 year olds.

    And for some reason, people under 18 don't get pregnant?

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