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If you were having a baby, would you want to

Children Pregnancy Knowing the gender

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Poll: Would you want to know the gender of any baby you were having? (44 member(s) have cast votes)

Would you want to know the gender of any baby you were having?

  1. Yes, its important to me/I have a condition that runs in my family in mostly one gender (1 votes [2.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.27%

  2. Yes, my partner/other relatives would want to know (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Yes, I hate not knowing things and because I can (2 votes [4.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.55%

  4. Yes, I would want to start picking names or buy gendered stuff before the baby is born. (8 votes [18.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.18%

  5. Yes, plain curiousity (7 votes [15.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.91%

  6. Yes, other (please explain) (1 votes [2.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.27%

  7. No, it doesn't matter, as long as its healthy (9 votes [20.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.45%

  8. No, I would like it to be a surprise (3 votes [6.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.82%

  9. No, my partner/relatives would like it to be a surprise (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  10. No, I don't want me nor family to pigeon hole my child into gender roles before its born (1 votes [2.27%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.27%

  11. No, I don't think telling of gender should be allowed as some people abort based on that (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  12. No, other (please explain) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  13. I don't know (2 votes [4.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.55%

  14. I'm never having kids (10 votes [22.73%])

    Percentage of vote: 22.73%

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#1 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 10:28 AM

I think I covered everything ;) Sort of making this thread half fun/half Hot Topic, probably will turn out horrible and everyone shouting at eachother ;) *shrugs*

Anyways for the serious portion of this thread:
Where I used to live its actually outlawed to tell the parents of their child's gender. I don't believe its outlawed here, where I live now. There reason its outlawed though, where I used to live theres a large immigrant population, of which a segment would abort their child based on which gender it is. One doctor I know told a cousin of mine the gender of her kid, I guess s/he figured a single white mother wouldn't likely abort based on gender, so technically that doctor broked the law.

In parts of India they have such a problem with the numbers of females-males because of pratices like this, that some people are trying to make telling the gender and/or abortion against the law. I believe part of it is the bride price, its more expensive to get rid of your daughter when shes older. Of course theres a cultural thread behind this as well. The funny this the doctor trying to push for a law regarding this, had two daughters, it appears the third one was going to be a girl, and I guess he decided enough was enough and aborted that one. I guess he figures he's done his part  :rolleyes: having two girls.

Do you guys thinks its alright to outlaw telling the parents the gender, at least where its an issue like this? How do you enforce a law like that though? Many a doctor might feel sympathic for their patients (instead of the embryo/fetus) Or I suppose some might say its easier to outlaw abortion in these places (I'm not sure what kind of birth control these people have access to - or in some cases their husbands will allow them). Do you think outlawing abortion would help, or do you think people will just turn to infantcide in developing countries like India? Some people here might liken it to a unintentioned method of population control. uck

I think the saddest part of this is how much of these abortions is probably decided by the father versus the mother.
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#2 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 10:28 AM

Probably should have made this two threads  :whistle:
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Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#3 ZipperInt

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 11:04 AM

I don't really care what gender any child of mine will happen to be, so I voted "No, doesn't matter". But I'll probably end up not having kids... **shrugs**
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#4 Brynhilde

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 11:15 AM

I voted that it didn't matter as long as it was healthy, but even if scans showed it wasn't healthy I still wouldn't abort based on that. I doubt I'd abort based on anything short of it killing me. I think you should show the same ammount of love for a child regardless of gender or other factors. The only way in which knowing the gender could be important if there was a high chance of, for example, a male child inheriting a serious disease if it runs in the males in one side of the family. I wouldn't do that though, unless I was seriously advised that it would be the best course of action for a better quality of life.

I don't think finding out should be outlawed, obviously any doctor would have to keep in mind people who would abort a female child because they want a son etc, but if the parents want to know they should be able to. I personally wouldn't want to know, but I would also quite like the suprise of seeing it for the first time and knowing then, I think.

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#5 Shalamar

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 11:29 AM

I think that making it illegal to tell the gender of a fetus is one of the stupidist things I have ever heard.  

There are very good reasons to know the gender of ones child to be - ranging from the medical reasons you listed to simple curiosity.

I think that cultures that disparage female children, and the practises that go with it are barbaric BUT that shouldn't be a reason not to know the gender.

But never having lived in a country dominated by such a culture this is just my opinion.

I don't know how you can enforce such a law - if amniocentsis is done the lab that does it is going to know, if you do sonograms the techs that doe it are going to know - it's not just the doctor but any of his office workers as well if they bother to look at the patients charts....the data can leak in too many ways...and who is going to report them? Finks in the doctors office, the patients themselves....
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#6 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 12:14 PM

Shalamar, on Jun 20 2004, 12:27 PM, said:

I think that making it illegal to tell the gender of a fetus is one of the stupidist things I have ever heard.  

There are very good reasons to know the gender of ones child to be - ranging from the medical reasons you listed to simple curiosity.

I think that cultures that disparage female children, and the practises that go with it are barbaric BUT that shouldn't be a reason not to know the gender.

But never having lived in a country dominated by such a culture this is just my opinion.

I don't know how you can enforce such a law - if amniocentsis is done the lab that does it is going to know, if you do sonograms the techs that doe it are going to know - it's not just the doctor but any of his office workers as well if they bother to look at the patients charts....the data can leak in too many ways...and who is going to report them? Finks in the doctors office, the patients themselves....
I'm not really advocating one side or the other, it'd be near impossible to enforce, doctor could say they just didn't want to have the kid so they decided to abort. Some would say it would be easier to outlaw abortion, though I think in some places that would just lead to more infanticide or back-alley abortions in these countries.
It'd be pretty hypocritical to say abortion is ok, but we're not going to tell you the gender because aborting it for that reason is wrong. If we say its up to the parents it should be up to them period, but I doubt the mother actually has that much say in the decision, though I could be wrong. In some ways it is as bad to force a woman through a pregnancy as to force her to have an abortion.
My mom just said it may not be law but hospital policy where I used to live? The policy/law never affected me, so I'll not sure.... She says that when she went in get an Ultra Sound for my youngest sibling and they said they couldn't tell her because of policy....
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Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
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Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#7 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 12:15 PM

For the poll I said no, if I have kid(s) I'd want it to be a surprise  :wub:
As long as it checks out healthy, I don't need any more information :)
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#8 Orpheus

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:00 PM

If I were having a baby, I'd be less worried about checking its gender than my own.

Having said that, I really don't inderstand the mystique of "not knowing." Like so many things, it's a "tradition" now, only because we once *couldn't* tell. Back then, guessing the gender by various methods was almost de rigeur. Now that we can actually know, it somehow 'spoils the game'.

To me, it's a bit silly. The "game" has no merit, and anyone with kids can probably list the concrete benefits of knowing you child's gender - buying clothing [1], painting the nursery (I have NO patience with parents who decide that the modest titillation *they* derive from the "mystery of not knowing"  is worth the unhealthy effects to the baby of 24/7 paint fumes on its first delicate weeks home. ) Like it or not, gender is important in our society -- in fact those who *don't* want to know are probably assigning it more signficance than those who consider it just another datum

Once you decide to have a kid, it ain't about you anymore, and won't be for at least another 20 years. I don't see how the mystery can help the child, but I can think of many ways it can impede preparations. If you had medical question about *you*, would you say you "prefer not to know" until it's self-evident?

Of course, I'm biased. I was sure my son would be a boy;  my ex was equally convinced he would be a girl. I never argued with her "privileged knowledge" (if you'd known her, you'd understand), I just secretly stockpiled "boy goods"  and steered all nursery decisions carefully to the most gender ambiguous options. When Jacob was born, she acted like The Nile had suddenly flowed backwards and started dancing showtunes in the Sudan. I wisely refrained from pointing out that the father determines the gender of the child -- which is why I survived to annoy you all today.

Having said that, if you're the right type to be a parent, it's an awfully good trade.

If you're not, it'd be bad news all around - 20 years of rough roads for you, and maybe another 20 for the kid. I really hate it when people try to change the minds of people who don't want kids. How can  such  "well meaning" advisers -often parents themselves- claim to even care about kids themselves?

[1] It's been said that the Magog were based on a new parents, with no chance to sleep or bathe in three days,  being told how handsome their little boy is... when it's a girl.  The Multi World Ship is a minivan retracing its steps through the universe, to find a dopey little pink head-ribbon that got lost somewhere between here and M31. Trust me on this: you can put the wrong hospital bracelet on a baby; SPD can take her to the wrong room or even lose track of her for a while... but if you lose that that little pink bow, sooner or later, you will encounter the wrong parent in the wrong mood, and you will die!

#9 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:25 PM

Orpheus, on Jun 20 2004, 01:58 PM, said:

If I were having a baby, I'd be less worried about checking its gender than my own.

Having said that, I really don't inderstand the mystique of "not knowing." Like so many things, it's a "tradition" now, only because we once *couldn't* tell. Back then, guessing the gender by various methods was almost de rigeur. Now that we can actually know, it somehow 'spoils the game'.

To me, it's a bit silly. The "game" has no merit, and anyone with kids can probably list the concrete benefits of knowing you child's gender - buying clothing [1], painting the nursery (I have NO patience with parents who decide that the modest titillation *they* derive from the "mystery of not knowing"  is worth the unhealthy effects to the baby of 24/7 paint fumes on its first delicate weeks home. ) Like it or not, gender is important in our society -- in fact those who *don't* want to know are probably assigning it more signficance than those who consider it just another datum

Once you decide to have a kid, it ain't about you anymore, and won't be for at least another 20 years. I don't see how the mystery can help the child, but I can think of many ways it can impede preparations. If you had medical question about *you*, would you say you "prefer not to know" until it's self-evident?

Of course, I'm biased. I was sure my son would be a boy;  my ex was equally convinced he would be a girl. I never argued with her "privileged knowledge" (if you'd known her, you'd understand), I just secretly stockpiled "boy goods"  and steered all nursery decisions carefully to the most gender ambiguous options. When Jacob was born, she acted like The Nile had suddenly flowed backwards and started dancing showtunes in the Sudan. I wisely refrained from pointing out that the father determines the gender of the child -- which is why I survived to annoy you all today.

Having said that, if you're the right type to be a parent, it's an awfully good trade.

If you're not, it'd be bad news all around - 20 years of rough roads for you, and maybe another 20 for the kid. I really hate it when people try to change the minds of people who don't want kids. How can  such  "well meaning" advisers -often parents themselves- claim to even care about kids themselves?

[1] It's been said that the Magog were based on a new parents, with no chance to sleep or bathe in three days,  being told how handsome their little boy is... when it's a girl.  The Multi World Ship is a minivan retracing its steps through the universe, to find a dopey little pink head-ribbon that got lost somewhere between here and M31. Trust me on this: you can put the wrong hospital bracelet on a baby; SPD can take her to the wrong room or even lose track of her for a while... but if you lose that that little pink bow, sooner or later, you will encounter the wrong parent in the wrong mood, and you will die!
For me its not about tradition or anything like that, and I'd just paint the room neutral colours and buy clothes neutral colours before its born, heck it wouldn't matter to me if it was dressed in the "wrong" colours... except for pink because I hate the colour pink period :p ;) Some parents want to know the gender because it is important to them, not because it just another piece of datum. I don't care what the gender is so why do I need to know? There are no conditions associated with gender in my family, and as long as the tests come back healthy it doesn't matter. If I was waiting until birth to paint the room/buy most of the clothes and decorate perhaps one could say its important to me. It is just another datum, but not an important datum to me, but I want that piece of datum to be a surprise ;)
For example if someone said they were getting me a gift and they said it was going to be a wrist watch or alarm clock, I wouldn't ask whether it was digital or standard w/ hands. It doesn't matter. I can tell the time either way.
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Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#10 Delvo

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:26 PM

I see no real use in knowing, since the baby isn't really going to care which kind of clothes it wears and there are neutral options anyway and whether it prefers pink or blue walls isn't going to be sex-determined. So if the mother wanted to keep the surprize, I'd go along with that. The catch is that routine medical examinations these days will reveal it anyway, which I'd accept as a side effect, just to avoid the work of avoiding learning.

But my answer in this poll is "No kids for me anyway".

#11 Norville

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:35 PM

Quote

heck it wouldn't matter to me if it was dressed in the "wrong" colours... except for pink because I hate the colour pink period

I have a bit of a problem with people who are hysterically into the "femininity" of colors. I keep encountering women who go on about the proper colors for boys and girls, as if it seriously matters in life's big picture, and I tend to just stare at them like "Okay..." While I understand that they mean that pink is girly and blue is for boys, I can't relate to the stereotype; I just don't care.

The above is probably yet another reason why I'm not cut out for parenthood. :rolleyes:

Quote

But my answer in this poll is "No kids for me anyway".

Same here. If kids were my intention, I don't think I'd care that much about their genders, just so long as they were healthy.

Edited by Norville, 20 June 2004 - 01:36 PM.

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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
http://www.nybooks.c...s-for-survival/

#12 Kevin Street

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:36 PM

Wow, excellent question sierraleone. And the responses have been excellent too. :)

For me it wouldn't matter if the child was a girl or a boy, so I could go either way about finding out or not finding out. But Orpheus has listed some excellent reasons for learning the gender in advance (24/7 paint fumes? Yuck!), so I guess I'd rather know if it made things easier. But it would just be another detail, like the kid's eye colour or weight, and not any kind of deal breaker.

In developing nations where sex selection is becoming more and more common, many countries have banned gender determination procedures and gender selective abortion. China and India both did this years ago, but they still face growing problems.

China bans sex-selection abortion In China they're only alowing doctors to abort babies after determining the sex if there is a medical reason for doing so. But imo, this just restricts the problem to higher income families that can afford to bribe doctors into saying it's a medical procedure.

THE PRE-NATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (REGULATION AND PREVENTION OF MISUSE) ACT, 1994 is India's law on the matter.

Sadly, it seems that many female babies die in India even after they are born:

Instant injustice; Saving the girl child; Female infanticide on the rise in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh

There seem to be deeply ingrained prejudices at work here that may take generations to undo. Check out the photograph in the last link of a classroom with about four girls and at least a dozen boys. What will their society be like when these kids grow up?
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#13 Norville

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:41 PM

Quote

There seem to be deeply ingrained prejudices at work here that may take generations to undo. Check out the photograph in the last link of a classroom with about four girls and at least a dozen boys. What will their society be like when these kids grow up?

What always makes me wonder about societies in which adults want to kill the girls is that, excuse me, females are needed if you intend to breed, which you quite obviously do. Kill most of your girls because only boys provide status, and how do you go about producing more of those more-valuable males? Sheesh...
"The dew has fallen with a particularly sickening thud this morning."
- Marvin the Paranoid Android, "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy"

Rules for Surviving an Autocracy
Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
http://www.nybooks.c...s-for-survival/

#14 Delvo

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:47 PM

They're not thinking about boys' or girls' worth in society or biological necessity. They're thinking about who's going to support them in retirement.

#15 maryavatar

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:48 PM

I've had three kids, and was never given the chance to know what gender they were.  I only ever had 13-week scans, which are too early to identify any external genitalia.  Later scans are unnecessary unless it's a high-risk pregnancy or twins.  Anything that's wrong would have already been identified at 13 weeks, as all the major developmental changes have already taken place.  The only purpose late scans serve during a normal pregnancy is to identify the sex of the child.

There's far too much medical intervention during pregnancy.  As long as a pregnant woman has regular check-ups with a midwife, there's no need for her to ever see an obstetrician, let alone have the stress of hospital visits and unnecessary medical procedures.  Yes, see a doctor if there's something wrong: 16-week blood tests coming back abnormal, blood pressure going up, the baby doesn't seem to be growing properly, etc.  In most cases a midwife has far more experience diagnosing complications during pregnancy than a GP anyway.  

I always knew the gender of my kids anyway.  Don't ask me how, but I could always tell.
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#16 Appreciate

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:49 PM

For my first child, I chose the "mystique" option and did not know that a daughter was on the way.  It was exciting but on balance, I'd have preferred to know earlier than when she was born.  For my second pregnancy I had an amnio and chose to know that a son was coming.  I could therefore prepare better (like Orph, I detest the toxicity of paint fumes and made my husband paint the second bedroom before I was eveng pregnant).

I guess I'm just in favor of knowing what I can, when I can.

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#17 Chakotay

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:51 PM

Although I have no children myself, I know that there are conditions like Hemophilia that are gender specific, and so prospective parents need to know whether they are having a boy or girl, not so they can abort it, but so they can prepare for caring for the child properly.
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#18 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:57 PM

^ are things like that part of the regulary testing, or not? I don't know enough about the testing they do. If it is, then it comes back positive and you learn about the conidition and inconsequently the gender associated with the condition.
Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#19 sierraleone

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 01:58 PM

*Edit: double post*

Edited by sierraleone, 20 June 2004 - 01:59 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#20 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 June 2004 - 02:04 PM

I think that the idea of making it illegal to know the gender of the child is silly.
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