Low-Tech Ways to Choose Baby's Gender
Using the Shettles Method or Whelan Method to conceive a boy or girl
The Whelan Method
In Boy or Girl?, a lesser-known book on low-tech gender selection, author Elizabeth Whelan details a method that directly contradicts Shettles’ theories. Basing her technique on the research of Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero of Colombia, Whelan states that Shettles’ approach to timing intercourse only applies to couples undergoing artificial insemination.
She explains that for those partners conceiving the old-fashioned way, intercourse timed closer to ovulation is likelier to result in a girl, and having sex earlier in the cycle will favor boy conception. Further, Whelan promises a lower success rate than Shettles—68 percent for boys and 57 percent for girls.
Dr. Shettles devotes several pages of his book to attacking Whelan’s theories. He even includes a letter written by a woman who takes Whelan to task and touts Shettles’ techniques as superior. Shettles maintains that Whelan’s book “has fallen into merciful obsolescence because it is based upon assumptions that are sometimes absurd and sometimes self-contradicting.”
Does the Whelan Method Work?
Judging the accuracy of Whelan’s book is difficult in part because fewer couples use her approach. And Shettles isn’t the only person to critique his rival. Madeleine states that after reading both books, “Whelan made no scientific sense to me so we went with Shettles.”
However, Kate* says she conceived the girl she wanted using Whelan’s method. Referring to Boy or Girl?, Kate says, “I read [the book] and tried to use as much as I could follow.”
Environmental Affects on Gender
Dr. Mark Moore, an anesthesiologist from Tallahassee, Florida, and his wife, Lisa Moore, a registered nurse, explain their method of gender selection in their book, Baby Girl or Baby Boy: Determining the Sex of Your Child. The book details some practices that are generally believed to increase a couple’s chances of influencing the gender of their baby. While there are no guarantees, Dr. Moore estimates that, if it’s followed correctly, it has a statistical probability of working 80 percent of the time.
Dr. Moore’s method is similar to the method developed by Dr. Shettles, but Dr. Moore has “tweaked” it to take advantage of recent discoveries in the environmental and behavioral science of conception.
Ways to Influence Boy or Girl Gender
Here are some of the ways Dr. Moore says will maximize a couple’s chances of conceiving a girl or a boy.
Baby Boy: For a baby boy, the Y sperm need to be more plentiful and to make their way to the egg easier and faster.
- Avoid sexual activity for three to four days before the calculated ovulation date.
- No hot tubs or hot baths for the man at least one week before this time. He should also avoid wearing briefs.
- Have intercourse one time only on the ovulation date. Use condoms for any subsequent sexual activity.
- The man should drink coffee or caffeinated soda two hours before sex; this increases sperm counts.
- After sex, the woman should lie still for 20 minutes.
- Avoid artificial lubricants.
Baby Girl: For a baby girl, the X sperm need to be more plentiful.
- To lower the sperm count, have frequent intercourse on days 5 through 8 of the woman’s cycle.
- On days 9, 10, and 11, have daily intercourse.
- The sexual position should be face to face.
- Avoid artificial lubricants.
- No sex on days 12, 13, or 14, or for at least two days after ovulation, except with condoms.
Dr. Moore also notes in his book that selecting a child’s gender shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but he thinks using his methods make trying that much more fun.
What Moms Say About Gender Selection
Considering that influencing the gender of one’s child is sometimes viewed as playing God, it’s interesting to note that each of the three women interviewed for this article is religious. While Kate and Bethany say that they would draw the line at high-tech sex selection methods, Madeleine responds that she and her husband are thinking about sperm-spinning to conceive a girl.
All three women appear to have reached a healthy balance between taking a proactive stance toward gender selection and at the same time appreciating the singular gifts that a baby of either sex brings.
When asked what advice she would give to couples contemplating any form of gender selection, Bethany puts an insightful spin on the issue of choice: “Be happy with either sex. You will get the child that has chosen you.”
* Last name withheld to protect privacy.
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