Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice - WRONG
We all know the rhyme. It is what little girls are made of. Boys meanwhile get stuck with the nasties - snakes, snails, puppy dog tails.
Well, it just isn't correct.
Recent research titled "You are what your mother eats: evidence for maternal preconception diet influencing foetal sex in humans" has shown that the old saw is exactly backwards.
"Fifty six per cent of women in the highest third of preconceptional energy intake bore boys, compared with 45% in the lowest third. Intakes during pregnancy were not associated with sex, suggesting that the foetus does not manipulate maternal diet. Our results support hypotheses predicting investment in costly male offspring when resources are plentiful. Dietary changes may therefore explain the falling proportion of male births in industrialized countries."
The article comments that higher energy diets, such as a breakfast of cereals and those high in sugars lead to a higher percentage of boys being born. Also, diets with more diverse sets of nutrients (which I read as spices), also leads to more boys being born. What gets you a likelihood of girls, well...poor nutrition apparently.
It is hard not to consider that there may be an evolutionary basis for this. Societies that are thriving might produce more boys and send them out to expand, while societies that are struggling might produce girls as a way to attempt to increase birthrates in a last ditch effort to propagate the species (maybe - just mentally extrapolating).
So next time you hear that high and mighty rhyme - let them know, they simply have it wrong.
Zz - A Boy and proud of it.
P.S. - I wouldn't call the study either broad or thorough enough to state that the findings are an absolute truth. It was interesting though and a good start.
P.P.S. - A shoutout. Blogging from the coffee shop at Jones Farm garden center, Chelmsford MA. They just put in a WIFI.