I doubt it’s much of a secret. Most men want to have a boy first. Partly, this is cultural conditioning. We’re constantly told how much everyone wants a boy, and we know a boy is harder to “get.” And, at least with the first child, we are so utterly clueless that we desire a boy baby without even giving it much thought. There’s certainly no guilt in wishing for a boy, when you have not yet met your baby-to-be.
I admit it. I wanted a little boy first. I was silently a bit disappointed when the little penis didn’t show up on the sonogram. Of course, as we all do, I said, “As long as she’s healthy I don’t care.” But I really wanted a little boy who would be my co-star in the next act of my human drama. We had instead a beautiful baby girl who has opened my world up in ways I never thought possible. She’s bright and sensitive and was feminine before she was even a week or month old. Once she was born, I didn’t look back. I fell head over heels in love with her in a way I was never expecting.
Our little boy was born four years later. At six now, he is all boy, compared to his sister. And we consider ourselves very lucky to know both of them, for all their differences. Maybe at one time, it was more important to have a boy for a very small minority, to maintain the family name and kingdom. Now, I can say, with the luck of having one of both, I’d take a third baby, of either sex, and my only wish would be that he or she is healthy.
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, an expert on gender issues, says: “Boys were thought to be stronger and more capable in general, so having a boy child meant that your business, piece of land or corner shop was in better hands.”
The boys for men attitude continued down the years. For example, much of King Henry VIII’s marital troubles only came about because of his pursuit of a legitimate male heir.
Eventually, his third wife Jane Seymour gave him Prince Edward to satisfy that obsessive desire.
Dr Glenn Wilson, a professor in gender and sexual psychology, says men actively seek the pride and importance of having the family name passed through the generations.
He says: “This was true in the days of Henry VIII. Traditionally your line is carried on through your name. Also sons and fathers share more genetic material than dads and daughters because the X chromosome is passed on as a unit which could be a basis for an instinctive preference for sons.