Why Your Husband Secretly Only Wants a Boy

Sasha Brown-Worsham

Ask almost any expectant dad-to-be in 2010 and he will tell you he doesn't care about the sex.

"As long as it's healthy," he will likely tell you. We've trained our men well to be politically correct even as we watch dads like Jamie Oliver keep on trying until the baby comes out with male parts.

He finally hit the "jackpot" last week with his fourth baby.

"When I saw the crown jewels it was a big shock. It's really nice to have a boy," Oliver said in a statement.

As a woman, once a girl, who now has a daughter, this phenomenon depresses me and it depresses me even more that the Mirror now suggests all men secretly want boys.

At the most basic of levels, don't men secretly only want boys? After all, a man's primal desire for a male heir dates back thousands of years.

It may be true.

During my first ultrasound, my husband looked terrified when the technician failed to see a penis.

"What am I going to do?" he asked me. During the next pregnancy, he came to conception armed with ideas about producing a boy, and when the technician told us what she saw (a boy), his grin was unmistakable.

A friend who was five days postpartum once cried to me, "I'm so sad I didn't give my husband the boy he wanted." I just stared at her wondering when we became part of King Henry VIII's court, but the more I've parented, the more I've seen the evidence that most, if not all, men really do want boys.

Even my own father, who was blessed with two daughters (blessed, I tell you!!), gets a bit wistful when he takes my son, his grandson, on outings to the train museum and airports. "I wanted one of each," he told me. "But you don't always get what you want."

I definitely felt like the tenor during my second pregnancy -- the male one -- was much more congratulatory among the men. They patted my husband on the back and told him "nice job!" Of course, now the irony is that my daughter and husband are much closer than my son and he are. He will deny it, but he and our daughter are buds while my little boy always wants his mama.

In addition to these clues from my personal life, the evidence suggests that on some primal level, men really do want sons more than daughters. Studies have shown that this preference affects divorce, child custody, marriage, child support payments, shotgun marriages, and the decision of parents not to have any more children. Looking at census statistics from 1940 to 2000, they found that the bias for boys strongly affects all of these life events.

It makes me sad and angry, but it may also be true.

Does your husband prefer a boy?

Read More