I don't know about you, but I heard this one day. It was because I was sucking lemons, and someone was like, "Why do you suck lemons, isn't it soooo sour?". I said it was very sour, but I liked sour. He said, "Ooo, don't you know, you'll have like girls for kids next time."

After that, I discovered he was serious. He said he'd read it off the newspapers or somewhere. He also said it doesn't seem to apply to sweet things, only to sour.

I don't mind having girls, but I'd just like to make sure I have at least one son as well.:)

My question is, Is this seriously true? Has any study been done to confirm/refute this? Would it be due to the acids having some effects on my male chromosomes?

P.S. I just remembered my Mom telling me this as well when I was a little kid, cause I liked sour things even back then.

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    I have not found anything reputable that would lend any credence to this claim. I think it's like the claim that if a woman eats strawberries during pregnancy, the child will be a redhead. A totally unrealistic idea. Also, it wouldn't be an effect of acid on your chromosomes, but rather (IF there were any mechanism that was viable) an effect on your sperm. I did find some articles about women affecting their ph levels through diet and favouring one sex over the other, but nothing from an EDU site yet. Jul 23, 2011 at 1:35
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    If there were proven methods to ensure or avoid the gender of children, countries in which daughters are generally valued considerably less than sons would have a huge gender disparity. (India and large parts of the Middle east). This does not seem to be the case, so either they have never heard of this sour-thing either, or it just doesn't work that way. (Not actually a researched answer, but rather a reductio ad absurdum)
    – Lagerbaer
    Jul 23, 2011 at 2:23
  • I like sucking lemons and sour foods in general and I have 4 boys (and 0 daughters) so from personal experience I would say no :)
    – Ardesco
    Jul 26, 2011 at 11:11
  • Are we talking about prospective mothers or fathers? I think the question should be more specific, since the mechanisms involved would be radically different.
    – adam.r
    Nov 23, 2013 at 0:35

1 Answer 1


There are studies that has shown a link between what you eat and how likely you are to get a girl or a boy. The difference is very small though, and "sour" doesn't seem to be relevant. The only food item they studied that had an effect seemed to have been cereal.


Another study looked at the amount of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium ingested, and the authors advise that a woman who wants to conceive a boy should eat foods high in sodium and potassium for a girl, she should eat foods high in calcium and magnesium:


However, they seem to have been claiming this since the early 80's without anyone else corroborating this.

(When scanning the net, I also encountered claims that making the body more alkaline, including eating a lot of lemons would produce a boy. :-) )

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    How does eating (acidic) lemons make the body more alkaline?
    – Henry
    Jul 23, 2011 at 13:34
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    @Henry: Don't ask me, I added that as an example that people claim all sort of things. Jul 23, 2011 at 16:47

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