While women are often considered the weaker sex, a Tel Aviv University study has offered scientific evidence to show that it’s the other way round.
The study has shown that male baby comes with a bigger package of associated risks than his female counterparts.
In a study of 66,000 births, Prof. Marek Glezerman, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, along with Dr. Yariv Yogev and Dr. Nir Melamed, found that while girls were at a higher risk for restricted growth in utero and for breech presentation at birth, risks associated with boy foetuses were more abundant.
"Pregnancies with a male foetus are more often complicated. They're more likely to result in a premature rupture of the embryonic sac and suffer from premature delivery. And those male foetuses which make it to term are more likely to suffer from excessive growth in the uterus, making delivery more difficult and leading to more cesarian section deliveries," said Glezerman.
Researchers concluded that male foetuses come with ‘a higher association of risks,’ but note that the findings should be viewed in the proper light.
Glezerman said that ‘boys are riskier to an extent’ but pregnancies involving boys should not be classified as ‘high-risk’ for that reason alone.
He said that it's only one factor for doctors to consider when looking at the whole picture.
"But in general, boys are more vulnerable in their life in utero, and this vulnerability continues to exist throughout their lives," said Glezerman,.
"Men are known to have a shorter lifespan, are more susceptible to infections, and have less chance of withstanding disease than women. In short, men are the weaker sex," he added,
Glezerman noted that this new evidence has confirmed the old wives' tale that boy foetuses are more troublesome in the womb and the delivery room. He also takes the notion one step further.
"This research not only confirms an old wives' tale, but adds to what we know about the male gender. Males are also associated with higher risk in the neonatal period after birth, and are more likely to expose themselves to risky behaviour later in life," Glezerman said.