David and Victoria Beckham are expecting their fourth baby. Since they already have their hands full with three boys, the Internet is abuzz about whether they might be expecting another one. What are the chances that the Beckham family is going to get another boy?
We all know plenty of families who have all boys, or all girls. And then there are those families like my husband’s grandparents, who kept trying for a girl, and got one … seven boys later. Are some families just more inclined to have one gender or the other?
Today, the BBC News weighed in on the topic, quoting scientists who say that having three children of one sex is a mere statistical quirk. And that, again, statistically speaking, the odds of having a boy or a girl are just about 50/50 —the same as tossing a coin.
Of course, there are ways to affect the outcome of your baby’s gender. I decided to call Robin Elise Weiss, author of “Guarantee the Sex of Your Baby,” whose book says that “medical science has ushered in a new era of family balancing where couples can determine their baby’s sex … through the maze of options currently available from the unpredictable (and now outdated) timing method, to highly effective sperm sorting, to the preimplantation genetic diagnosis, which guarantees accuracy.” Here’s what Robin had to say:
“There are options like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, where people take an eight-cell embryo, pull out one of the cells, and run a genetic profile on it. It can tell you all these things about the baby, including the sex of the baby. If that seven-cell embryo is a girl and that’s what you want, that one can then be implanted. There has been speculation since [Victoria Beckham's] last baby was born that they would be trying to have a girl and that they would use some sort of high-tech gender selection. They have the financial means to do it. And, she’s not afraid of technology — after all, [Victoria Beckham] is the one that people were talking about when they coined the phrase too posh to push.’ But, I also think that she’s the type of person who would probably tell you if she did it. We had a whole spate of celebrities who probably did IVF and aren’t telling. It’s certainly not any of our business, but some people are very open about everything in their lives and [Victoria Beckham] strikes me as the kind of person who would say Yes, I did,’ or No, I didn’t.’”
The BBC article points out that sex selection is illegal in the UK for social (and some would argue, ethical) reasons. So, theoretically, that leaves the Beckhams with the same odds of having a boy or girl that the rest of us have — the same as the toss of a coin.