Can pregnant women intuit the sex of their children?

C C Offline

EXCERPT: "So let’s start with the fact that the study had only 100 people, which isn’t nearly enough to be able to make any determinations like this. That’s very small power. Secondly, it was already split into two groups, and the two groups by the way have absolutely zero scientific basis. There is no theory that says that if I want a girl or if I want a boy I’m going to be better able at determining whether my baby is in fact a girl or a boy." --Maria Konnikova, speaking on Mike Pesca’s podcast, The Gist

. . . As it turns out, Konnikova’s claims notwithstanding, study authors Victor Shamas and Amanda Dawson had plenty of power to detect what turns out to be a very large effect. Adding together the two green areas in the tails, their study has a p-value of about 0.005. This a full order of magnitude beyond the generally used threshold for statistical significance. Their study found strong evidence that women can guess the sex of their babies-to-be.

Is this finding really as strong as it seems? Perhaps the authors made some mistake in how they setup the experiment, or in how they analyzed the results. Since apparently Konnikova failed not only to do statistical analysis, but also basic journalism, I decided to clean up on that front as well....
Magical Realist Offline
I remember my mom and my siblings practicing the old pencil on a string method of determining baby gender. Holding it over her wrist, if it goes back and forth it's male, and if it goes in circles it's female. Can't remember if it got it right. Soon thereafter I had a baby sister!

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