Some women are perfectly content not knowing the sex of their baby during their entire pregnancy. For others (hi), waiting until they give birth to find out if they're having a boy or a girl isn't an option for a single nanosecond. In the past, women who found out the sex and women who didn't were haphazardly put into two different groups: Impatient and patient. But a new study suggests that mamas-to-be who learn what they're having pre-birth are either perfectionists, people who have conservative views about gender, or both.
Researchers at Ohio State University had 182 pregnant women take personality tests that evaluated their beliefs on gender roles and parenting perfectionism. The study found that moms who seemed open to new experiences and who were more laid-back were less likely to find out if they were having a boy or a girl, whereas their "perfectionist" counterparts, who like to have everything in order before the baby arrives, usually found out what they were having. "These results suggest women who choose not to learn their baby’s sex may not worry about having clothes, toys, and colors for their child that match traditional gender expectations," said Letitia Kotila, lead author of the study. "We don’t know this for sure yet, but expectant mothers’ choice on whether to find out their baby’s sex may show gender role attitudes that will shape how they raise their children."
Hmm ... while I definitely could see the connection between finding out your baby's sex and perfectionism, I'm not so sure there will be one between finding out your baby's sex and conservatism -- certainly not for everyone.
With both of my pregnancies, I have found out what I am having. I will definitely cop to being impatient and having a touch of OCD, but the main reason I wanted, needed, to learn my baby's sex was to connect with her (and this time, him). For me, and I think a lot of moms, pregnancy almost didn't seem "real" until I knew what I was having. I could stop referring to the being inside of me as "it" and instead say "she" or "he." And, again for me, it's just easier to, well, grasp the whole thing. I won't lie, I certainly like to be organized and have everything in its place before baby comes, but putting the conservative gender theory to rest: Everything I bought for my daughter when pregnant was white, tan, or gray. So there.
Did you find out what you were having before giving birth? Why or why not?