Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What I Do When Michael Works Late

I have a theory that goes like this:

If a couple has two children of the same gender in a row, their third child is more likely to be that same gender. In other words, a couple is more likely to have three boys or three girls than to have two boys and a girl or two girls and a boy.

The other day, Michael told me that my theory was total hogwash. "Every time you get pregnant," he said, "there's a 50/50 chance of that child being a boy or a girl."

I said, "That may be true statistically. But in actuality, it seems like people with two of a kind are more likely to have a third of the same kind."

Michael continued to argue that statistically that was impossible, so two nights ago, I decided to prove him wrong. I listed everyone I could think of with three or more kids. If their first two kids were different genders, they were disqualified from my study. For everyone else, I made two lists - those with 2 of one kind and 1 of another, and those with three of a kind.

Here are the results:
  • 2/1: 7 families
  • 3 of a kind: 14 families
Stuff it, Michael!


(There is actually a scientific reason why this would be the case, but to explain, I would have to go into greater detail than is appropriate for a family blog...)


  1. This is awesome. And interesting! There is a lot of interesting info on gender and conception, it's not as clear cut and random as most think. And there is some theory that the woman has just as much or more say in gender selection than the man.
    Anyway, thanks for posting and distracting me from homework for a few minutes. :)

  2. I think I've had exactly this same conversation with Tom. And I won.

  3. Do you have any theories on the probability of a 4th being a different gender? It would be so much more inticing to have another child someday if I thought I'd have a girl instead of a 4th boy.

  4. Kim (or Ken, I can't tell who really posted that :),

    I feel exactly the same way. I've always wanted a little girl, but I'm not sure I'm willing to risk 4 boys for that.

  5. @Kim - What Michael said...One theory I've read says that younger mothers are more likely to have boys, so maybe wait a few years. Of course, the older Rylan gets, the less I feel like having another baby, girl or boy.

  6. Michael - I feel the same way...is risking 4 boys worth the chance of a girl? In Ken's family there are 11 grand kids: 1 girl and 10 boys. In my family there are 21 grand kids: 5 girls and 15 boys. Our odds just don't seem good. Especially since this last time we did every natural method to conceive a girl that is out there. Apparently they don't work.


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