Friday, August 11, 2006

Sex of the baby

When was the last time when we knew the sex of the unborn child that one of our ralatives was expecting? In the past, has there been a case when a relative of ours, who is expecting a baby, did a scan just to know the sex of the foetus? Im not sure how many of us can answer this either. If we are not old enough or lived enough yet, we can ask our mom this question. It may not make much difference, however.

In our part of the world, there is infact a policy to hold this information back from the couple, in the scan results. I mean its not legal or ethical atleast. Thats what the pundits say. This is true, basically to prevent discrimination against the girl child. But haven't scans been happening at all, for this purpose? Just solely for knowing the sex of the unborn child? Even in the metros ?

Then why is it that we are not able to answer the first question?

(Well, I am talking about people who do not discriminate any one sex. Lets leave the ones who do, out)

Couples who are expecting a child, do scan for the health of the baby and the mom-to-be. But my guess is that most of the urban couples or atleast the mothers-to-be get to know the sex of the baby from the doc. It may just be that they dont disclose the fact that they have this information with them... not even to their close relatives/friends. Let me call these people Group A.

And of the remaining folks, some of them just dont wanna know this info from their doc. This set of people can again be classified.

One which doesnt wanna know because they had decided that they will not ask their doc for this info. Let me call this as Group B.

And the other, the Group C, who are just indifferent, maybe due to the lack of awareness or maybe due to the fact that they are expecting a baby when they are not actually wanting a baby, as in their just not being ready for a baby yet. I am not gonna talk about Group C too.

So why is Group A keen on knowing the sex of the foetus? And more keen on hiding this info? (and keen, even more on hiding the fact that they know this information?)

And why does Group B make a conscious choice of not asking their doc for this info?

There are a few probable reasons that I can think of.

1. Some of the couples may want to know the sex because they are just plain curious. (Group A)
2. And some, because they just wanna plan ahead and in the right direction, without any bias for any sex, even if they knew this info. (Group A)
3. And some may just wanna tune their minds to accept any eventuality, if they are infact biased. There is a difference here. Bias may not necessarily be because of discrimination. It might just be a preference for one over the other. (Group A)

4. While some may choose not to ask for this info, because they might just wanna save the thrill till the end. (isnt that sweet :-). Group B)
5. And some for the reason that they just wanna prove a point, that they do not discriminate. (Group B)
6. And some due to indifference or whatever. (Group C)

All of the above has one thing in common. The people who are close to them do not know the sex of the foetus. Again, I am not talking about the ones who share this info with their folks, if they had had access to it.

So lets focus on Group A now. So why then do they not share this info, if they actually know this in advance? They may feel that its a taboo to know the sex, or atleast to be known in their social circle as someone who wanted to know the sex. Or they just wanna act like someone who really doesnt discriminate. And thats because "not knowing the sex" is considered by most of us as a quality of someone who isnt being discriminative.

Talking about Group B, wouldn't it be great if they wanted to know the sex? and went ahead and asked for this info?

Couples who expect a child and that too when they really want a child, would obviously wanna make good parents. They may even take up crash courses on parenting skills. But most of the research says that by the time the child is born, it is too late for the couple to make changes to the way they think or do things in life. Research says that it is about what the couples were till the child was born, and not what they will be after. Another reason for this might be that the child then becomes a sort of moving target. By the time the parents know what they need to know, to handle the child, the child is no longer in a state where the skills that the parents attained, will suit it, because the child keeps moving through many stages and keeps growing, I mean its mental growth.

So, the only time that couples can really bank on, to redirect their learnings toward more precision, is when they are expecting the child. Isn't it? By knowing the one last information that is specific about the way they handle the child? The sex.

Will it not be great if Group B realises this?


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