Do You Prefer a Boy or a Girl?

t is normal to want a baby of a certain sex. In some cultures, the preferred sex is male. For example, in China and India, male children are preferred as an “asset” who can earn and support the family.

In the United States, there is a growing preference for female babies. A study published in 2009 by the online journal Reproductive Biomedicine Online found Caucasian-Americans using preimplantation genetic screening select females 70 percent of the time. Those of Indian or Chinese descent more often chose boys.

In fact, there are many articles on “gender disappointment,” the term assigned to the secret sadness — and even depression — many women feel when they have boy babies instead of girls. Often women feel like they don’t know what they would do with a little boy and are sad over the loss of the potential for a mother-daughter relationship.

This gender disappointment can go the other way too. For example, families who have many girls, but don’t have a son to carry on the family name, often experience feelings of loss when attempts to have a boy don’t work out.

Just because a mother or father has a gender preference, it does not mean they are or will be bad parents. Everyone has a “plan” in their heads for their family, and if the plan gets altered, it can cause disappointment.

If you feel strongly about wanting a certain gender, know the following:

  • It does not make you a bad person or a bad parent.
  • If your feelings concern you, find someone to talk to, such as a therapist.
  • With assisted reproductive technology, you can select the sex of your baby.
  • Selecting the sex of your baby is legal and done quite often in the United States.