How grandma says boys are conceived -- maybe

Slugs, snails and puppy dog tails -- that’s what little boys are made of. Old wives' tales around the world ensure the survival of other vibrantly entertaining recipes from forgotten civilisations, modern-day urban legend, and really old people. We show you the best 5 ways of conceiving boys we’ve seen so far.

Grandma's old wives' tales on conceiving boys Grandma's old wives' tales on how boys are conceived

I once thought I read an article on the newspaper that said a man should eat more vegetables if he wants to produce boys, and more meat if he wants a girl. So I tried to turn vegetarian while my wife and I were trying for a baby. Yes, it turned out to be a boy. No, it wasn’t the vegetables (notice I said “tried”).

Most of us accept that determining gender at conception is very much like playing 4D with only 2 people playing; you have 50% chance of getting what you want. But as with any form of gambling, superstition plays as big a role as science, and as long as we’re gunning for a particular horse to win, we’ll probably believe in anything and everything if it means putting the odds in our favour.

1. Boys are conceived via the Chinese Conception Calendar?

Legend tells of an ancient chart, sealed in a tomb in Beijing for 700 years, that can tell you with 95% accuracy what gender your baby will be based on your lunar age and month of conception. Legend also tells of a giant panda who would eventually become the next Dragon Warrior, and his story would be told in 2 very successful movies and a Nickelodeon animated series.

2.Boys are conceived via inverse sexual aggression?

The gender of your baby will be the opposite of the gender of whoever is more aggressive while doing the do. Yes it’s confusing. No, don’t scratch your man up in bed (unless that’s how you normally achieve complete and utter satisfaction; read the orgasm theory below).

Whoever came up with this one has some serious issues.

RELATED: Natural baby gender selection

How grandma says boys are conceived -- maybe

3. Boys are conceived via the pendulum test?

Admit it. You did this in secondary school with your group of giggly girlfriends. (I did it too, and I’m a guy.) You tie a metal object (a ring, a key or maybe a paperclip) on the end of a string (or just use a pendant necklace) and hold it over the palm of your friend’s or your own hand -- if it swings in a circle, it’s a girl, and if in a straight line, it’s a boy.

Dowsing rods might find you water or gold, but all I ever found using a paperclip on a string was an excuse to hang out with a bunch of giggly girls.

RELATED: Predict your baby’s gender with old wives’ tales

4. Boys are conceived via meat or vegetables?

It’s an obvious play on the man-as-hunter, woman-as-gatherer thought; old wives will tell your man to eat meat to get a boy and vegetables if you pine for a daughter. As mentioned above, I thought I read a news article citing the exact opposite, but really, ambiguity is how old wives’ tales are created in the first place.

Diet control might work for the womenfolk though; we’ll elaborate further below with a banana.

Organic food

5. Boys are conceived depending on your man's nipples?

Why wring your hands in anxiety trying to find a way to predict your future baby’s gender, when there’s a gender predictor right in your own home? Lift up your firstborn’s shirt (or your husband’s if you are trying to get a firstborn), and look at his nipples. Protruding nipples means boy, inverted means girl. And if you see one in and one out, you’ll most likely conceive a hamster.

RELATED: Baby gender prediction test

PART 2: How scientists say boys are conceived