On Lesbians Having Babies: Bay Bridge, Sex Ratios and Turkey Basters

Somewhere, I came across a story about lesbians having higher rates of male babies. Can someone confirm this? Or perhaps it was an alleged truth in the form of a joke? In any case, I can’t remember if it’s true or not but here’s how it goes:


Do Lesbians More Often Have Male Babies?

More specifically, I’m asking if lesbian-identified women living in the east-bay of San Francisco, who have babies using artificial insemination, are more likely to have male babies? Why would this be?

The Basics of Sex Determination

The sex of a baby is determined at inception, based on the sperm that fertilizes the egg. Each of the sperm and egg carry half of the genetic material necessary to make a life. They come together to form the zygote with the full genetic material. And since the egg always carries an X chromosome and the sperm can carry a X or a Y, then sex is determined by the sperm that wins out. Just to be sure you know, the X chromosome and Y chromosome earn these titles because they literally do look like these respective letters. The Y chromosome is missing a whole segment! See below– this is what the chromosomes that determine sex look like:


Image courtesy indigo instruments

Ok, with me so far? Great. So why would lesbians who use artificial insemination more often get their eggs fertilized by Y-carrying sperm?

The joke/logic goes that they have to cross the Bay Bridge into San Francisco in order to retrieve the sperm from donors. The sperm donors are more likely to be in San Francisco because in the city, gay male residents are more prevalent. Then, on the way back to Oakland (because all lesbians live in Oakland, didn’t you know?) the journey in the car causes heavier sperm to sink to the bottom and lighter sperm to stay at the top of the donor fluid. So, by the time the turkey baster gets filled with precious semen, the lighter Y-chromosome-carrying are closer to the turkey baster’s head. They’re in the right place at the right time.


Bay Bridge, before it was replaced in 2013

Whether or not this story is actually true, it does point to the relevance of social factors in determining sex ratios! If this pattern were to hold up in the statistics of babies born to women (living in Oakland, getting pregnancy using artificial insemination) it would show you how where the geographically located culture of the gay and lesbian community could have an effect on the biological sex of babies being born!

But on to what jogged my memory about this.

Down With Turkey Basters

A new product, the Semenette 2.0, that just appeared in Refinery29. recently launched on indiegogo as the tool to make insemination sexier. Put away your Turkey basters, ladies.


Check out indiegogo campaign here!


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