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Sex Determination – Right or Wrong?

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I want to know! I want to know! Whether to buy pink or blue baby dresses, whether to choose Barbie or Spiderman blankets, whether to call my baby a ‘she or ‘he’, I just want to know! Some people would like to know it the traditional way, at the time of birth, but that’s not for me. I want to know from start. During my last pregnancy, I wasn’t this curious. Boy or a girl, I’d have been happy just the same. But now that I am already blessed with a naughty baby boy back at home, I strongly desire for a sweet darling girl. Even if she grows to be a daddy’s pet, not a problem, I have a mama boy to compensate; I still want a baby girl to make my family picture complete.

My longing for a girl becomes very profound especially when I visit these baby shops where they have a vast collection of colourful fancy baby girl dresses. Come on, let’s admit. There are only so many colours and varieties that one could do with boys clothes, the older they get, the lesser the choice and I’ve done them all with Akhil. Enough and enough with animals and cars and planes in the nursery. I want some soft toys and cuddly bears for a warm touch. My son is mischievous the obvious way and now I want a silent monkey who’ll bat her eyelashes and smile innocently while she plans pranks behind your back.

I’ve tried every old wives’ technique so far, the gold chain over my palm, the heart beat count, the Chinese calendar and it all points to a girl. I’m happy! Happy enough that I have assumed to be carrying a baby girl and cooing to her so for the last 7 months. Assumed enough to make my hubby believe it too. Belief enough to bias my son who now says that that he wants only a baby sister and that if I give him a brother, he would give him to someone else. Not a good thing to do, I know. But one of the myths is that the gender of the second child will be decided by the desire of the first. I was secretly influencing my son’s desire. I would nevertheless be happy and equally excited with a baby boy but with a girl, the happiness would be tad more.

Without relying on tales and myths alone, I was looking for scientific proofs as well. During every visit to the Ultrasound, I get all geared up to find some clues on my baby’s gender and get disappointed every time. Let alone showing what it has to for my attempts to succeed, my baby doesn’t even show its face. Shy or stubborn, I don’t know. To make my frustration worse, the sonologist gives me a stern or hideous look as if I was about to commit the most illegal crime of the century. Dammit! For once, I regretted living in India and to abide by its generalized laws.

Agreed that female infanticide is a major problem in many parts of India. But is banning sex determination the real solution? Do parents who are willing to abort their baby girl in the womb really hesitate to kill it when it’s born? Or worse, throw it in a public dustbin? Take action against such heartless morons. Why forcefully deny every mom, dad and sibling their eagerness to know more about the new addition to their family and prepare accordingly. Not just physical and practical preparations but psychological ones too like weaving dreams and bonding more.

How I hate these generalized Indian laws! Remove tinted windows in vehicles to reduce crime rates. Blame movie item numbers for rapes. Ban sex determination to solve female infanticide. People who want to do it, still do it stealthily through unlawful means, defeating the purpose of the law and questioning medical ethics. Law can force parents to give birth to a child they don’t want but what can it do if the parents raise it as a burden without love, care or even basic needs. Isn’t a child’s welfare more important than just accounting for boy girl ratio and statistics on the ledgers?

Think government, think. Think more and think deep! Superficial laws will remain just that, superficial. Uproot the underlying causes, spread awareness, educate more on equality, admonish and punish crimes severely instead of labelling trivial things as illegal and crime. Stop limiting the rights of every citizen to mask your inability to tackle the actual problem. If prevention is the solution for everything, one day, we’ll all be issued curfew from stepping out of our house under the pretext of safety and security.

Yeah, I’m all worked up about this now because of my mounting frustration. I want a girl, to raise her as a bold, brave and confident woman. Not as a submissive shy helpless chick that our society has named as “good girl” for ages and ages. If law and society doesn’t let her at peace, I’ll change my world and society for her. The longer I assume I have a girl, the more I want her. The more I want her, the more I would be disappointed if it turns out to be a boy again. No, I am not prejudiced against boys. Only because I already have a wonder boy who makes me happy in every way, I want a wonder girl this time. If only sex determination was legal, if I am carrying a boy, I would have known earlier, prepared earlier and by now would have written a blog post wanting another son as much as I have craved for a girl here. Damn these laws for denying me that!

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8 thoughts on “Sex Determination – Right or Wrong?

  1. Loved the post, Archana! I so agree about superficial laws that don’t check the root cause and only hope to correct the symptom…

  2. @Uma: Thanks. I hope that the law makers of our country put a little more thought process into what they ask of us people and how justified it is before making decisions. As citizens, we can only hope.

    @Harsha: Thanks to u too. I wasn’t this frustrated during my first pregnancy but now I know how it is. Happy for you for ur suspense is over now and happily that too, isn’t it? 🙂

  3. i agree with every word here… my father in law is a radiologist and i always say that when i ever carry i would bribe him to tell me chupke se …. for all the same reasons that u have written…

  4. vanakkam aarvam 🙂

    1. I agree that parents should be allowed to know the gender of the child.
    It is their right also.But sadly our society is not full of reasonable, fair and gender-bias free people. Due to our long roots of patriarchy.

    2. Abortion is legal(Abortion is legal till 5 months of pregnancy) in India and by that you can abort females (or any child, but mostly female gets thrown), called female foeticide. not infanticide, where you actually kill the child after it is born. a criminal activity, punishable by law. Yes, it doesn’t stop people who will do it any cost.

    3. But the question is,
    Is it easier to abort the foetus in 4 months (time to know the gender)?

    or is it easier to wait for 9-10 months, give birth and then kill the infant (a human kill, more complications & punishable by the law) Also it takes time to conceive the next child, a boy.
    But in abortion, the time taken to get conceived again and aiming for a boy is shorter. I’m being cold and pointing the obvious. 🙁

    Foeticide or female abortion is the better & easier of the above.
    So the generalized laws have come into place and serve their purpose.
    Yes, people still kill the females, and yes ban of sex determination, is not the perfect solution.

    4. In 2006, as per study nearly 10 million female foetuses had been aborted. (
    The actual number could easily be triple or five times that number. Sex determination was banned in 1994. Nearly 12 years later we still have millions of being aborted just because they’re female. 🙁 🙁 🙁 As with any law, sex determination ban has not been upheld very much from the inception of it but then slowly became to a very strict one today.

    With the ban, we could say that several million were not killed. ( no survey for this, who is going to say that I didn’t kill since I couldn’t know the sex of my child.) and perhaps the sex ratio is not worse compared to now. We don’t know if all parents who were willing to abort, killed the child after birth or mistreated it. Maybe several hundred thousand girls out of millions who could have been aborted could be having a normal life. even if it is few hundreds happy girls (the unfortunate ones are also there, mistreated often), it is valuable as each life is precious and they have a chance.

    But this ban solution, is like using a hammer instead of syringe. It cuts of the eagerness & dreams of millions of loving parents who are expecting.

    5.So will I agree to remove the ban? Nope. It is way too risky to do that on this society who consider male as the crown jewel and the female as debts to settle. It might kill a lot of females quite easily.

    I propose a change to law, where the parents, enter into a legal agreement of sorts with a govt, that they will ensure the proper care of the infant till 5 years. and present the child for an annual govt checkup to backup the agreement. And such parents could get to know the whether the baby is a boy or girl.

    My suggestion is an approximate one, but I hope one gets the idea of it. And it could be made better by brilliant people. So that the ban doesn’t become a hammer denying millions. And we can find a middle path in this.

    6. You want the government to think deep about welfare of the society?!! 😀
    Do you see what happens in the government? It is about how long you can hold onto the chair and power, and other sides are interested only in how soon you can grab the chair and power.
    Crimes and criminals are used by people in high places. It is a symbiotic relationship. 🙁

    This ban can be made less restrictive and people have to rise for it and push the government.
    Quite a few have posted about this, including yourself. And that is the end of it. we say govt has to act on it. Guess what it wont happen unless we(the people) act and push for a change in policy.

  5. @ApostleOfZion: Again, a deeply thought out comment Aravind. A suggestion to you. Why don’t you start a blog yourself? You have interesting viewpoints and more voices being heard, so much better. Don’t u agree?

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