Five or six years ago I heard a piece on the radio about couples that were paying tens of thousands of dollars to have their sperm centrifuged so that they could increase their chances of having either a male or female child. The X chromosome is slightly larger than the Y chromosome so male and female sperm separate out pretty well in a centrifuge. You can then choose the heavier or lighter fraction to use in artificial insemination. During the story they interviewed a family that really wanted a girl because the dad wanted to brush her hair and dress her up in pink. I can understand having a slight preference towards having a baby of one sex or the other but as far as I am concerned that is as far as it should go. Can't we just be thankful that we are able to have kids at all, that they tend to be healthy and happy despite all our screw-ups as parents and our failings as human beings???
In a disturbing follow-up to that story, yesterday on NPR I heard about research recently published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) that found that Asian families (from China, India, and Korea) that had immigrated to the U.S. and had more than 2 kids showed a highly skewed sex ratio for their third child. Their research found that instead of a 1.00 females to 1.05 males (the ratio of male to females in babies if you let probability, genetics, and all that decide), that these families had 1.54 males to 1.0 females. They didn't have any data on what the cause of this skewed ratio might be but the researchers suggested that the most likely explanation was that families were having an early ultrasound to find out the sex of their baby and then were selectively aborting girls.
If this really is the explanation, all I can say is what the hell is wrong with people?? Do you really think having a boy is so much better than having a girl? This is the United States. Women kick ass here (they kick ass everywhere but here we have lots of opportunities and do lots of things that maybe we don't do other places). Can I just point out that every single one of the pediatricians that Josie had in the hospital was an extremely good looking Asian women?? Can I just point out that many successful bankers, scientists, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, etc., etc., are women?
And for those crazy rich people who are sorting sperm to have girls instead of boys, dude, what is your problem? Can't we just be a little humble and celebrate what life gives us? Must we control everything? To these people I say, I wish upon you the happiest, sportiest, shortest hair wearing, ball playing, jock of a lesbian daughter that there ever was.
Take your gender stereotypes and shove them. Get out of natures way and be happy with the fact that babies of all shapes, sizes, sexes, colors, and various states of hairiness exist.