A home-based test can detect the biological sex of a baby as early as seven weeks of pregnancy. Although these tests have been available for several years, their accuracy has been questionable – until now. According to the Associated Press, researchers “analyzed 57 published studies of gender testing done in rigorous research or academic settings — though not necessarily the same methods or conditions used by direct-to-consumer firms.” According to the study, the blood test is 95% accurate at detecting the biological sex of the baby.
Many critics of the Pink or Blue test (yes, that’s the actual name) say that the blood test will contribute to higher abortion rates when women discover the sex of their baby. I don’t take this criticism seriously, since there is very little evidence that sex-selective abortion is common in the United States, despite what Arizona’s state legislators would like us all to believe.
My criticism of Pink or Blue is printed right there in the name – pink, or blue? The test reinforces a binary gender model that fails to account for the multiple permutations of biological sex that can occur. Intersexuality is far more common than most of us realize. So is transsexuality. A simple blood test is hardly conclusive – and the 95% “accuracy” rate is questionable if it only looks at two possible biological outcomes.
What’s your take? Do you trust a home-based test, or the squiggly sonogram pictures at the doctors’ office for that matter? Do you wonder about pink, or blue?
Serena is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, protesting, and playing with little dogs.