USC Fertility


Are Women Who Eat More Breakfast Cereal More Likely to Have Sons?

While a group of British researchers answered a resounding “Yes” to that question in April 2008, we now know that the answer is “No.”

In fact, most pregnancy myths—about how to get (or refrain from getting) pregnant, or about how to increase your chances of having a boy or a girl—are false. I hear the same gender selection myths year after year, and said so recently when I was interviewed for an story by Lauren Cox entitled “Fueling Modern Pregnancy Myths.”

Most of the misconceptions about controlling a baby’s sex come from the late Dr. Landrum Shettles’ best-seller “How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby,” which he co-wrote with David M. Rorvik. Originally published in 1970, it was reprinted in 1977, 1984, 1989, 1997, and 2001. It has sold more than 1.5 million copies. Despite the fact that none of Shettles’ and Rorvik’s claims are supported by research, year after year, patients use the book as gospel and follow its lead. But there’s still no solid proof that any of these techniques work.

As women’s health expert and advocate Dr. Donnica Moore says in the article in which we were both quoted, “In the year 2009, the best way to tell if it’s a boy or a girl is an ultrasound.”

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