THE PRECONCEPTION GENDER DIET by Sally & William Proctor Langendoen


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A premature offering of diets that may affect the sex of a child at conception--with only a superficial discussion of the issues involved. Langendoen is a childbirth teacher and counselor who used to wonder why, ""in this day and age,"" people should be ""so interested in having a child of a certain sex""; she now thinks that such feelings are deeply rooted and thus worthy of attention. She points out, quite rightly, that a ""gender diet"" is preferable to the currant use of abortion after a baby's sex is known. (Most such aborted fetuses, disturbingly, are female; and indeed most parents indicate a preference for boys--though some sociologists maintain that, in time, the choices would even out.) Langendoen whips through these questions--but even unconcerned readers should beware of the diets themselves. Observations of higher male birth rates in certain cultures with special diets (Orthodox Jews and Greeks are cited), along with some early, scant data, indicate that the 60-day ""boy"" diet (high in salt and potassium, low in calcium, way too low in magnesium) and the 60-day ""girl"" diet (high in sweets and calcium) might affect a baby's sex; in any case, they will almost certainly affect the mother's health. The authors point this out themselves--encouraging close contact with a physician, and rightly emphasizing that the diet be discontinued the moment conception is confirmed. So unless readers are interested in being part of what Langendoen hopes will be the first large study sample for this diet (a reporting form is included at the end of the book), or have a compelling reason for a sex preference (a sex-linked hereditary disease in the family is one), this is one to avoid until further notice.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1982
Publisher: Evans