The politics of gender determines how parents would like to choose baby gender. In less developed, traditional societies, women are discriminated against and hence girl babies are regarded as a burden. Baby gender determination would be important for the family. This is of great significance due to the differences in status that is culturally assigned to men and women in society. Boys add on to the labor of the farm but girls are liabilities to be wedded away. Once the baby gender is predicted, heinous action like abortion may be undertaken. This accounts for negative sex ratio of women in some regions...
Many parents desire that if only they could select the gender of their child. But the selection of gender of a child is not yet a scientifically proven process. Various dubious methods abound in the market. Driven by desires to choose baby gender, gullible couples fall prey to superstitious practices of gender selection. They often end up disillusioned. So some of them take recourse to the option of predicting the sex of the unborn child and then the termination of the pregnancy if desired.
Baby gender prediction is therefore popular in certain societies. There is a variety of methods used to determine the baby gender. The Drano test is one such method using the effect of Drano crystals on urine samples as an indication of baby gender. Some of the methods are purely old wive's tales. The ridiculous wedding ring test says that dangling the ring over the pregnant belly of the woman will indicate a boy if the ring moves like a pendulum. Another theory states that if the baby's heart rate was 140 beats per minute and above, it is a boy, and it is a girl if it was under 140 beats per minute. Other superstitions examine whether the pregnant mother has cravings for sweet or salty food, her hair is lustrous or dry and if she has morning sickness or not.
Baby gender prediction has scientific methods as well. Two tests that can be performed during pregnancy, amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling, can both reveal the baby gender with accuracy. Amniocentesis is a procedure used to extract amniotic fluid from a baby around 16 - 18 weeks old. The test reveals chromosomal disorders as well as the baby gender. CVS is usually performed 10 - 12 weeks after the last menstrual period. The doctor will remove tiny tissue sample from outside the sac where the fetus develops. The tissue is tested to diagnose or rule out certain birth defects.
The best method is the ultrasound. The need for ultrasound depends on how the pregnancy develops and on the doctor's discretion. Ultrasound is not normally performed only for sex determination. Predicting the sex of the baby while doing the ultrasound is a bonus choice for the parents as the baby gender can be correctly known after 16 weeks. But the surprising fact is that many parents like to stop predicting baby gender and like to enjoy a pleasant god given surprise at childbirth.