A newspaper in India has offered its readers scientifically unfounded tips for ensuring they conceive boys instead of girls, telling would-be mothers to eat lots and face west while sleeping.
The sex of a child is determined by the chromosomes in the father’s sperm. But the daily newspaper Mangalam, in Kerala state in southern India, printed six suggestions for those who want to have baby boys.
There is a cultural preference for male children in India.
“The chance of a girl or a boy at conception is totally random,” said Dr Shazia Malik, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at The Portland Hospital in London, debunking the article.
“There is no scientific evidence on any method that will change this statistical chance when a baby is conceived naturally.”
Mangalam, which filed the story in the health news section of its site, also advises potential mothers-to-be not to skip breakfast and to have sex only on certain days of the week, when the male sperm is “stronger”. It said men can play a role and help strengthen their sperm by avoiding acidic foods.