Gender Selection – Low Tech Methods

There are many low-tech, or natural, methods that couples throughout history have tried to influence the sex of their child. These methods range from females having sex on their left side in order to get pregnant with a boy to tying off the right testicle with twine in order to produce a daughter.

Entertaining old wives tales are also tried when couples want to choose their baby’s sex. These range from eating meat and salty foods (for a boy baby)  to using the Chinese lunar calendar based on mother’s age and date of conception to sex standing up or under a quarter moon for boys and in the missionary position for girls.

More modern theories aren’t nearly so drastic as tying off a testicle or as silly as having sex during a quarter moon. In fact, most of the modern “natural methods” revolve around timing intercourse with respect to ovulation and the gender the couple desires.

Gender Selection practices with timed intercourse methods include:

  • The Shettles Method is a method based on the theory that Y-bearing (boy-producing) sperm are lighter, swim faster and die soon, while X-bearing (girl-producing) sperm are heavier, swim slower and live longer. Intercourse is timed to take advantage of sperm speed and lifespan, so to conceive a girl, you have sex two to three days before ovulation to allow the Y-bearing sperm to die off, and to have a boy, you have sex as close to ovulation as possible, so the speedy Y-bearing sperm will get to the egg first.
  • The Whelan Method pretty much contradicts the Shettles Method and is based on the theory that biochemical changes in a woman’s body will at times be more favorable to Y-bearing sperm and at other times be more favorable to X-bearing sperm. It advises to conceive a boy that you have sex four to six days before ovulation and to conceive a girl, you have sex two to three days before ovulation or the day of ovulation.
  • 0+12 is a method to conceive a girl and recommends sex 12 hours after ovulation in order to do so. This method also contradicts the Shettles method.

None of these timed intercourse methods are proven to work; however, trying them out can be fun if you will not be disappointed if you don’t get the gender of your choice.