Saudi Arabia: Moms visiting clinics seeking male children

Arab News

Arab News – Tue, Mar 17, 2015

Many Saudi women are obsessed with having male children in the belief that they are more likely to become breadwinners and continue the family line, Arab News has found.

Arab News - In this file photo, Saudi women and a child walk along a street in Riyadh. (AFP)

These women, including those who have only had female children, are increasingly heading to clinics in the hope that doctors can help them determine the sex of their offspring.

Fawzia Al-Shamakh, director of the self-development consultation center and psychology and sociology consultant at Dar Al-Hekma College, said that women doing so are driven by the mainstream view in the country that male children stand a better chance of succeeding and supporting their families.

“You will find that a woman carrying a male fetus is energized with feelings of satisfaction and dignity.”

There is a prevailing belief among Saudis that a girl should grow up to take care of the household and produce babies, while a man has the responsibility of continuing the family line, she said.

Al-Shamakh said that Saudi women have the power to change this perception by working and proving that they are also capable of taking up top positions in all industries.

Fahd Salman, a consultant in obstetrics, gynecology, infertility and in vitro fertilization, said that the sex of a baby is determined by the chromosomes of its parents. There is no method that can guarantee success, he said.

The previous genetic implantation method appears to be the most effective, but it also has a low success rate. This procedure is available at many hospitals and fertility clinics in the Kingdom, he said.

Mazen Bishara, an obstetrics, gynecology and infertility consultant in Jeddah, said there is great demand in the Kingdom for these procedures, in comparison with other countries. Many people believe that a skilled doctor is capable of determining the sex of a baby, he said.

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