The Intuition in Pregnancy Study

Can mothers predict the sex of their unborn baby, based on their intuition? This question has generated some interesting and controversial results in a recent study conducted by Dr. Shamas and University of Arizona graduate researcher Amanda Dawson.

The "Intuition in Pregnancy" study has received extensive national and local coverage, including articles in USA Today, Baby Talk magazine, Real Woman magazine, and the cover of the Tucson Citizen. Dr. Shamas has been appeared locallly on KUAT-TV's "Arizona Illustrated."

USA Today Story

The following brief article appeared in the Lifeline column of USA Today (October 20, 1998):

MOTHER KNOWS BEST: Expectant mothers can use the power of intuition to learn the sex of their unborn babies, says a University of Arizona study. Women who claimed to have an intuition about the gender of their child made the right choice 70% of the time. A survey of college students also found 80% believe their mothers are more intuitive than their fathers.

Press Release

Mothers Use Intuition to Know Their Babies, According to Study

Researchers have found that expectant mothers can use the power of their intuition to learn about their unborn babies.  A pair of psychologists from the University of Arizona has completed a preliminary study on pregnancy and intuition showing that pregnant women can predict the gender of their babies on the basis of their intuition alone.

In a two-year study conducted at the Birth and Women's Health Center in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Victor Shamas and Amanda Dawson asked 100 pregnant women to predict whether they would give birth to a girl or a boy. Women who claimed to have an intuition about the gender of their child made the right choice over 70 percent of the time.

"These findings took us by surprise," says Dr. Shamas, a cognitive psychologist who studies the role of intuition and inspiration in everyday life. "We suspected that some of the women would have accurate intuitions about their infants but certainly not such a large percentage."

The women who participated in the study chose not to know the results of any medical procedure that would inform them of the gender of their child. Although sonograms are performed in the majority of pregnancies and can determine the gender of a fetus with 95 percent accuracy, some expectant mothers still prefer to keep their baby's gender a mystery until the time of delivery.

All of the participants in the study were patients at the Birth and Women's Health Center, an independent facility that provides health care to hundreds of pregnant women and their families each year. The Center's director, Kathryn Schrag, observes, "Our entire staff was excited to learn about this study. We have all heard our pregnant patients' stories of their 'knowing' things such as the gender of their baby. We were eager to see it scientifically studied."

After making a prediction about their babies' gender, participants in the study had to indicate whether their prediction was based on an intuition or on some other source of information. They were also asked if they preferred a girl or a boy.

"One of the interesting findings to come out of this study," explains Dr. Shamas, "is that women who have a preference for one gender or the other don't tend to have accurate intuitions. The point is that there's a big difference between what you want to happen and what your intuition tells you is going to happen. When a woman really wants either a girl or a boy, her desire gets in the way of her intuitive ability."

Although the Arizona study deals only with the issue of gender, Dr. Shamas points out that mothers can also use their intuitive ability to discover other aspects of their baby's identity. "If you look at the kinds of dreams that expectant mothers tend to have, quite often you will find that these dreams deal with themes related to the kind of people their children will turn out to be, including the children's temperament, their likes and dislikes, and even their future career choices."

According to Dr. Shamas, the majority of sons and daughters are aware of the intuitive connection their mothers have with them. Nearly three-fourths of colleges students he surveyed maintained that their mothers are able to read their thoughts and feelings in a way that nobody else can. Approximately 80 percent also said that their mothers are more intuitive than their fathers.

"Most of us recognize the closeness of the bond that can form between a mother and her child, but we may not realize the extent to which the power of intuition makes this bond possible. The accuracy and the scope of a mother's intuition are something we're just beginning to understand," notes Dr. Shamas.

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