Study: Male Fetuses Pretend Stress “Isn’t Happening”


The University of Adelaide in Australia has determined that boy and girl babies have totally different reactions in the womb to a variety of stressors, from asthma, pre-eclampsia, and cigarette smoke to psychological stress in the mother.

“The male, when mum is stressed, pretends it’s not happening and keeps growing, so he can be as big as he possibly can be. The female, in response to mum’s stress, will reduce her growth rate a little bit; not too much so she becomes growth restricted, but just dropping a bit below average,” says researcher Vicki Clifton.

Um, fascinating.

“When there is another complication in the pregnancy — either a different stress or the same one again — the female will continue to grow on that same pathway and do okay but the male baby doesn’t do so well and is at greater risk of pre-term delivery, stopping growing or dying in the uterus,” Clifton adds.

Holy crap. Man babies are from Mars, woman babies are from Venus.