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  1. #1
    Swaying Advice Coach
    atomic sagebrush's Avatar
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    In Defense of Swaying Part 1

    This essay was posted before, but seems to have disappeared - sorry if it's been posted twice, I can't find it any more and I use it quite a bit.

    For all those out there whose husbands, doctors, college professors, parents, and obnoxious strangers swear that swaying can't possibly be true because everyone "knows" that gender is 50-50, the man is the only party that matters, and it is luck alone that determines gender.

    Ignaz Semmelweis was a doctor in the 19th century, who worked in a hospital with two maternity clinics. He noticed a startling difference in the number of deaths in one of the maternity clinics - on average, 10% of all women who delivered in that clinic (the First Clinic, where medical doctors trained) died of childbed fever (a disease that used to kill many women after giving birth) while less than 5% died in the other clinic (the Second Clinic, where midwives trained). To his chagrin, he realized that even fewer women who delivered at home, aided by friends and family, developed childbed fever...less than 1%. Something had to be causing the different rates of death, but what???

    He got his answer when tragically, his good friend was accidentally stabbed by a scalpel while performing an autopsy and died a short time later, of what seemed to be childbed fever!!! Semmelweis realized that the doctors-in-training at the First Clinic were coming directly from performing autopsies to deliver babies, without washing their hands first, and this contamination was what was causing childbed fever. The midwives in the Second Clinic did not perform autopsies and were thus less likely to spread this contagion to patients. Semmelweis began to urge doctors to wash their hands with a bleach solution before delivering babies, and wherever the practice was adopted, deaths from childbed fever plummeted.

    Dr. Semmelweis is today hailed as "the Savior of Women" but during his day, his theory was looked upon very skeptically by many. Germs had not been discovered yet and disease was "KNOWN" by every educated person to be caused by "bad air/miasma" or an imbalance in the "Four Humours". Some doctors took offense at the suggestion that they were unclean or could possibly be spreading disease. He was ridiculed constantly and forced to mount defenses against false accusations. The constant persecution eventually took its toll on Dr. Semmelweis and he was committed to an institution against his will, where he died, ironically of septicemia, the very thing he had fought so hard against.

    Ah, those old-timey people. Thank goodness we have modern medicine to keep us from making decisions based on superstition rather than facts. Right???

    Fast forward to the 20th century. Germs had been discovered and modern medicine seemed capable of performing miracles. Doctors "KNEW" for many decades, what triggered the formation of ulcers. Stress and eating spicy foods caused ulcers and consequently, patients were told to relax and eat bland foods to cure them. However, in the late 70's and early 80's, pathologist Robin Warren and Dr. Barry Marshall had a different theory - they believed a bacterium that they had observed was actually the cause of ulcers. (some previous research dating back as far as the 1800's also seemed to support this idea, but most ignored it).

    Warren and Marshall were also held up for ridicule by the medical establishment. Everyone "KNEW" that ulcers were caused by spicy foods and stress, and everyone "KNEW" that bacteria couldn't possibly live inside the human stomach. In 1984, Marshall decided to put his money where his mouth was (literally) and drank a beaker of H. Pylori, the bacterium he believed to be responsible for causing ulcers. Only 5 days later he developed a raging stomach infection. Eventually, Marshall and Warren collected enough evidence to prove their theory correct and now people with ulcers are given antibiotics rather than vague instructions for relaxation and drinking milk.

    Scientific progress often takes the form of the discoveries of Semmelweis and Marshall/Warren. Someone observes an occurance that does not make sense given the evidence, and comes up with an alternative explanation. At times, like Semmelweis, the person who notices the anomaly may not understand or have enough data to explain why things are the way they are, but that doesn't negate their observations. We still do not know what causes gravity, but that does not mean that gravity doesn't exist...Newton observed gravity, he described gravity, and we don't go flying off the planet for SOME reason!!

    The scientific writer and historian Thomas Kuhn referred to the set of scientific beliefs that define a certain era as a paradigm. When new discoveries challenge these beliefs, the paradigm shifts and a new paradigm is formed. Regardless of what a person learned as fact in high school biology or even in medical school, and no matter how many fancy letters follow their name or diplomas hang upon their walls, the truth is, swaying is 100% supported by both logic and evidence. We need a new paradigm, because "gender is a coin flip" paradigm is not supported by the facts. People, even highly knowledgeable experts, "KNOW" a lot of things but the fact is, they only know them until new information comes along. And at times, it's the most knowledgeable and informed amongst us who are the most resistant to changing their opinions, because they are so steeped in the paradigm that they are accustomed to.

    What do we really know about gender ratio???

    We KNOW that animals like birds, amphibians, and reptiles can and do alter gender ratio. No one disputes this and a variety of mechanisms have already been proved to sway gender in these animals, such as temperature and minerals in the environment.

    We KNOW that experts on evolutionary biology, even very famous and world-renowned scientists like Richard Dawkins, EO Wilson, Robert Trivers, and Satoshi Kanazawa, believe that some similar mechanism(s) has surely evolved amongst mammals to alter the gender ratio to maximize a child's survival. According to the book "Darwin's Ghost" by Steve Jones, even Charles Darwin himself suspected that animals, including mammals, could vary gender ratio of their offspring. Even though they don't know the mechanism itself, just like Newton's apple falling to earth for some reason that we still don't comprehend, they believe such a mechanism(s) exists.

    We KNOW that under certain circumstances, mammals in the lab or observed in the wild, have had different gender ratios than what is statistically expected, at times quite dramatically. So aside from theory, mammals evidently CAN alter their gender ratio much like birds and reptiles can. Dietary factors, hormonal changes, and social dominance have all been linked to changes in the expected sex ratio. http://www.reproduction-online.org/c...17/2/403.short Birth sex ratio and social rank: consistency and variability within and between primate groups
    Maternal Diet and Other Factors Affecting Offspring Sex Ratio: A Review
    http://www.zoo.cam.ac.uk/zoostaff/la...s/kruuk99b.pdf
    (there are literally hundreds of studies like this, this is just the first few I came across on my desk.)

    We KNOW that human men make 50-50 X and Y sperm. They HAVE to. It is biologically impossible for them to make anything BUT 50-50 X and Y sperm. http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gend...-X-AND-Y-SPERM

    We KNOW that the gender ratio of boys born to girls born amongst humans is NOT 50-50. Worldwide, gender ratio varies from 103-100 to 108-100. Sperm that are 50% X and 50% Y mean that some other mechanism MUST be in play to produce gender ratios like that.

    We KNOW that the gender ratio of boys conceived to girls conceived is even greater...approximately 140-160 boys are conceived to every 100 girls. Source - Essentials of Genetics, 4th edition, William S. Klug and Michael R. Cummings, published in 2006. Again, sperm that are 50-50 and rates of conception that different, mean that some mechanism is at play BEFORE (or during) conception, rather than an increased rate of miscarrying girls altering the gender ratio. Actually more boys are miscarried, by a significant amount. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...60315/abstract

    We KNOW that families with several boys are statistically more likely to conceive boys that should be "expected" and families with several girls are also statistically more likely to conceive boys than should be "expected." Also, mixed gender families are less likely than is "expected". http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gend...!-anybody-know Research has also indicated that some families have more of a particular gender than is "expected." (this is the same link as above - both topics are discussed in this essay.) http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gend...-X-AND-Y-SPERM Amongst twin conceptions, girls are more common than they "should" be and twin boys are less common that statistics predict. Ergo, gender cannot be the simple flip of the coin it is made out to be.

    We KNOW that women in certain careers tend to have altered sex ratios in their offspring. http://www.danechristensen.net/stuff/Job-Child.pdf If gender ratio was entirely determined by the male and the luck of the draw, how could this be the case?

    We KNOW that maternal diet seems to alter the gender ratio in humans. Maternal Eating Disorders Influence Sex Ratio at Birth BBC News | HEALTH | 'More girl babies' for vegetarians http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.o.../1661.abstract

    We KNOW that it's not just the ladies who affect gender ratio...males in certain careers such as chemistry, deep sea diving, fighter pilots, professional cyclists, pesticide applicators, and anesthetists have more daughters than is statistically expected, despite the fact that they STILL make 50-50 X and Y sperm and both X and Y sperm have been proved to be equally hardy and long-lived. http://genderdreaming.com/forum/gend...rm-and-Y-sperm

    To sum up, regardless of what the conventional wisdom claims, what "experts" say or even what your family doctor believes, the evidence demonstrates that gender swaying is possible, and sex ratio of offspring is neither simple luck or entirely determined by the male. We may not know why or how it all works just yet, but the evidence is def. on the side of swaying.
    !!! Questions?? Check out the NEW and improved Complete Index !!!

    If you appreciate my help with your sway plan, please consider a donation:

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  3. #2
    Big Dreamer
    Soar's Avatar
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    I needed to read this today! Thank you for posting it!
    (2009)
    (2011)
    Due January 2014 and swayed for a
    It's A GIRL!

    I can do all things in Christ, who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

    Link to my girl sway:
    http://genderdreaming.com/forum/add-...y-attempt.html

  4. #3
    Dream Vet
    Northern_Shutterbug's Avatar
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    Must forward this to my gynaecologist who looked at me like I had two heads when I explained it to him!
    since 2005 2008 2010.

    When our dream became a nightmare
    http://www.20-week-countdown.blogspot.com

    Failed sway due April 2014


  5. #4
    Swaying Advice Coach
    atomic sagebrush's Avatar
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    I need to come up with a 10 second explanation because it's very difficult to tell people about briefly. Briefness is not my strong suit.
    !!! Questions?? Check out the NEW and improved Complete Index !!!

    If you appreciate my help with your sway plan, please consider a donation:

    https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=C92U9TVWTRTDQ

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