Myth – Chinese

To achieve the desired sex of a baby, the husband should eat meat in order to have a baby boy or eat seafood to have a baby girl.

The informant first heard this myth after he got married.  His parents wanted him and his wife to have a baby boy to carry on the family name, so they fed him a lot of meat.  Carl says that only what the husband eats determines the sex of the baby, not the wife.  The male has the Y chromosome that decides whether the baby is a boy or girl, whereas the female has both X chromosomes.  In his experience, Carl does not believe in this myth because he has two boys of his own.  For the second baby, he tried to eat more seafood, but still had another boy.

Since Carl was born in California, he did not believe in a lot of the myths that were brought over from his parents.  For this myth, the meat could symbolize a male because it is tough and strong, which will make a healthy boy.  The seafood is more gentle and soft, which could symbolize a healthy girl.  In this way, the Chinese culture has a latent belief that the sexes have different roles in society.  Because the girl is gentle, she will be more submissive to her husband, who is more tough and will make the big decisions.

Although these myths were believed, the maximum effect can never be achieved because the husband will probably not restrict himself to only meat or only seafood.  Therefore, this myth cannot be fully proven and thus remains a myth to this day.  Since Carl was born in the American culture, he learned from science that the odds of getting a boy versus a girl is at random, and that one cannot be favored over another.  This dichotomy between science and belief is evident, and in the Western faith, most people believe in science over myth.  The Chinese culture believes in the ancient legends and myths and follows it in hopes of getting what they want.  If they do not get the favored results, then it only means that they did not follow the myth correctly.