None of the pseudoscientific procedures help to determine the gender of the unborn baby. There are scientific ways though, such as ultrasound, DNA tests, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
By Tej Kumar
Since time immemorial, there has been no dearth of myths that predict an unborn baby’s sex. While most of them may seem harmless, it’s important to remember that these are not medical facts. A viral YouTube video in Telugu (archived here), for instance, claims that the sex of the foetus can be determined easily with the help of kitchen essentials such as table salt, sugar and matchsticks.
First things first, no matter which method you use, it’s important to note that there is a 50/50 chance of guessing the baby’s sex correctly. There is no scientific reasoning behind any of these predictions. For instance, mixing table salt or sugar with the to-be mom’s urine to check if it is more acidic or less acidic can give you no logical indication of the sex of the foetus.
The matchstick method – dipping its head in the to-be mom’s urine for 30 secs and then drying it for 10 mins to check if it gets lit – is based on a similar unscientific rationale that equates the acidity of the urine to the baby’s sex.
First Check contacted Dr Shimna Azeez, a public health professional and writer based in Kerala, India. “None of these pseudoscientific procedures help to determine the gender of the unborn baby. There are scientific ways though to determine the sex of the baby i.e. ultrasound, DNA tests, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS),” she stated.
It is important to note that testing the gender of a foetus is illegal in some countries like India. Such misleading social media claims are known to encourage female infanticide or the deliberate killing of the girl child.