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PH and I need to have a girl next time because we can’t work out a boy name. We’ve vetoed each other’s favourites (with the exception of Owl’s name, a favourite of mine that PH didn’t mind) and cautiously accepted as “maybes” some other suggestions.

Girl names are easier.

We worked out several possible girl names as well as Owl’s name before we even got engaged. We know the name of our future girl.

So this time, we’re going to try to have a girl.

When I found out that Owl was a boy, I had a lot of mixed emotions. On the one hand, I have always wanted a boy. Whenever I dreamed of babies, they were boys. I LOVE little boys. I’m not so hot on little girls. They’re manipulative and often shallow and obsessed with their Barbies’ hair.

So I was glad I was getting my boy.

But PH wanted a girl. PH isn’t big on men in general. He likes and admires all things female.

So I was concerned that he was disappointed.

He has never expressed any disappointment – he loved Owl from the moment he laid eyes on him – but he has teased me about the fact that I got my boy.

“Hey, it’s your sperm that determines the gender,” I would say defensively.

“I gave you millions of girl sperms! You picked THIS one!”

It was all a big joke, but I got hired on Elance to write a series of articles about selecting your baby’s gender earlier this year and I learned a few things:

1. While the gender is in fact determined by the man’s sperm, the woman’s body has final say on which gender it produces.

2. Boys are slightly more common than girls, 51% of babies being boys.

3. The world is full of myths about timing your intercourse to have a certain gender, assuming certain positions etc and all of this is completely unsubstantiated by modern science.

4. Women (and other female mammals) who are stressed, eating low fat or low calorie diets, or living in crowded situations, tend to de-select males, and start producing more females. The effect can be as much as 60-80% females born over males. Women who eat high calorie diets experience the opposite – 60% more males than females.

The idea is that if resources are low, females are a better bet. We only need ONE male to repopulate the world, but we need a lot more women. Also, since male babies require more calories to make, a female is easier to put together if there isn’t a lot of food to go around.

It’s called the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, and there seems to be a lot of research to back it up. 

Male blastocysts also appear to be less hardy – they don’t absorb sugar as well from the uterine environment and are less likely to survive to implant in the uterine wall if the mother’s blood sugars aren’t stable.

The difference is such that just skipping breakfast can affect your chances of having a boy.

So…. guess what I’m doing?

I’m back on My Fitness Pal, logging my calories, and I’m skipping breakfast.

I’m not cutting back on calories dramatically. After all, if a woman is starving she’s not likely to conceive at all, and honestly a second boy would not be the end of the world. PH would love him and still consider our family complete.

But I would like a girl, too. First, I’ve done the boy thing and now I’d like to try the girl thing. Second, while I’m not big on little girls, I would like to have a grown daughter some day.

Plus I just like experimenting with science, especially science that motivates me to lose weight.

So I’m on a restricted, but not unreasonable, low calorie diet and skipping breakfast.

Que sera, sera.

At least I can tell PH that I tried!

…And yes, I will stop the low calorie diet the moment that second line forms on the pregnancy test.