By Michel Serres
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Additional info for Angels: A Modern Myth
3 percent of boy newborns, only 18 percent of girl newborns. Furthermore, 6 percent of the boys delivered required a Caesarean section, while just a shade over 4 percent of the girls required one. While the study produced intriguing numbers, it has not been able to suggest a cause. There is supporting data that newborn boys have larger heads than newborn girls, which could prolong labor and require Gaesarean sections. But baby boys are also more likely to experience fetal distress, which has nothing to do with head size.
Some scientists have specu- lated that when a woman is carrying a girl, her body produces more estrogen. It is the estrogen that packs more fat on the hips. As for the stringy hair and puffy face, the scientists cannot come to any conclusions. If science is studying possible links between thin, lifeless hair and the gender of an unborn child, it might as well branch out into other unconventional methods of predicting a baby's sex. Psychologist Janet DiPietro, who studies fetal development at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, has conducted a study of the dreams of 104 pregnant mothers, all of whom had more than 12 years of formal schooling.
The anecdotal evidence doesn't end there. The notorious 1970s New York City serial killer, David Berkowitz ("Son of Sam") killed five of his eight victims during a full moon. Serial killer Charles Hyde, who terrified England in the 1880s, did most of his murdering under a full moon. (By the way, the Hyde case was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, Dr. Jekyil and Mr. Hyde). Meanwhile, the British Medical Journal found links between the full moon and a sharp increase in criminal behavior, as well as drunkenness, drug overdoses, and even traffic accidents.
Angels: A Modern Myth by Michel Serres