Your entire world’s focus can just change in a second when you realize that you are pregnant, isn’t it? From that moment, every aspect of your life begins to revolve around your baby. And, a million questions begin to pop in your head, be it about your baby’s napping schedules, his/her feeding habit, or even about the best brand of diapers out there.
However, one thing that constantly comes into every parent’s head is the big gender question. Will it be a boy or a girl? What will we name him if it is a boy? What color will be her room if it is a girl? Can you relate to this? If yes, you will be surprised to know that your partner’s sibling can also help you predict the gender of your baby!
So, there is a story that I fondly remember about my uncle. He was welcomed by his four elder sisters into the world. When my grandmother was pregnant with my mom, my uncle was secretly hoping for a brother. But, to his disappointment, it was a girl yet again! He was one brother among five sisters. In fact, he grew up to have two daughters of his own too. Is it a coincidence? Apparently not!
Recently, a study was conducted by Newcastle University, England, which took into account thousands of families (1). The research revealed that men have a tendency to inherit the number of sons or daughters they might have from their parents, especially from their fathers. As part of the study, around 927 family trees were looked at, which had information on approximately five lakh people from Europe and North America since the year 1600. Let us simplify the results of the research for you. There are more chances of men being blessed with sons if they have more brothers, and daughters if there are more sisters!
There is a possibility that men might have a gene (yet undiscovered) that determines whether there will be more of sperms which ensures male birth as compared to female birth or vice versa. Perhaps, this unique gene is what gets passed on from the father to the son, thus determining more male births or female births. However, these are all speculations! Studies are still being conducted to figure out the reason for the observed pattern.
If I look at my own family tree, it should not come as much of a surprise that my uncle was blessed with two daughters. Despite my grandfather’s luck who had at least one son along with five daughters! While I see this observation pretty distinctly on my maternal side, I am not sure when I look at my paternal side. So, to give you context, my father has four brothers along with one sister. So, as per the observation, it would be expected that my parents will be blessed with sons. However, I came into the picture just a year after my (one and only) brother!
Another question that arises is whether this theory will work as effectively in the case of the mixed-sex siblings! My partner had one sister as well as one brother. The ratio was inclined towards the male, and we did give birth to two healthy boys. So, maybe it is true. But then, his younger brother was blessed with two daughters and one son. So, obviously, it is still not a definite!
Yes, the findings are about the population at large and will obviously not be applicable to every scenario! Things can always vary circumstantially. Also, it will be easier to observe this pattern in the case of larger families.
But, if you are curious, you can always look back at your own family tree and see if the pattern holds true in your case! How well do your partner’s siblings match to your own babies’ genders? Let us know in the comments section below!