View Full Version : Daughters for Pilots

23rd Aug 2004, 14:36
Ok.. heard that (RUMOR????) pilots have a 80% chance of having a daughter rather than a son??????!!!!! Really ?????

23rd Aug 2004, 15:40
I don't think anything has been scientfically proven but I've heard this is true for deep sea divers and airline pilots. The Y chromosome is more fragile than the X chromosome - one theory is that the huge temperature and pressure changes experienced by divers and pilots can harm the genetic composition of the Y DNA, killing them off and meaning that the X's are more dominant. Hence a daughter is more likely!

I guess the girls can handle the pressure.........!

23rd Aug 2004, 21:37
This is very interesting!

It would be great if someone can verify it all with a link to some official research! :ok:

Bad medicine
24th Aug 2004, 00:29
It certainly is a widely held belief, but there is no statistical evidence to back it up.



24th Aug 2004, 09:53
Hope it is true, my wife gave birth to our daughter 8 months ago and I start at CCAT early next year. Fingers crossed!!;) . Maybe I might even get a job at the end of it all:confused:

24th Aug 2004, 10:43
huge temperature and pressure changes experienced by divers and pilots Does that really describe the modern airline pilot? Such an argument would only apply to a limited number of military pilots. Anyway, after a lifetime of (both very high and very low altitude) military flying, I've got one of each. Where that gets us I couldn't say.

24th Aug 2004, 14:09
I believe Captain Airclues has 3 sons. :D

phoenix son
24th Aug 2004, 14:53
It must be true, my wife has just given birth to our first child (a boy), and I've never been at the controls of an aircraft in my life! (Unless 900 hours a year on FS2002 counts, it seems to be good enough for plenty of other people who post on this site) :E


24th Aug 2004, 15:02
I first heard this rumour early in the '70s. (I have 2 daughters) If there is any truth to it, it must be a relatively small effect rather than an 80% chance. An 80% chance would be so obvious that someone would have been drawn to do a statistical study.

I will say that at the jet bases I was posted to, there did seem to be more daughters than sons born to pilots. On the other hand, at a maritime patrol base there was no apparent bias.

Possible mechanisms for such an effect could include:

1. g loading
2. high altitude radiation
3. termperature stress in cockpits with inadequate environmentals.

Are there any flight surgeons out there who can comment on an anecdotal experience basis?

25th Aug 2004, 07:15
Bad Med: Maybe we could start a 10 sec survey for pilots regarding their progeny... boys/girls.

BTW... Two of my airline pilot friends have just had daughters.


26th Aug 2004, 13:35
I have got one of each, although my 2 year old lad does like wearing my daughters ballet dress!!!

26th Aug 2004, 14:20
I don't have any official reference but I have heard that *fighter* pilots have more daughters than sons due to G force.


Maybe there's an Air Force study.

26th Aug 2004, 14:43
I was a Royal Navy pilot in my youth and I've three daughters and no sons....

26th Aug 2004, 14:53
I thought having daughters was something to do with female xx sperm swimming methodically but more slowly and hence last longer than male sperm.

Maybe us pilots land "short" of the requirements, to deliver the swimmers in the right place?:{

26th Aug 2004, 15:20
My wife gave birth to a daughter 6 weeks ago ;) now is this the fact that Im a pilot (PPL atm but about to go for CPL) or the fact that my wife is the middle of 3 girls, and her ma is the middle of 3 girls, and her grandmother is the middle of 3 girls, shall I keep breeding to confirm the pattern? or is it because Im a pilot?
After enduring the last 6 weeks I dont think I want to find out :\ :E

27th Aug 2004, 01:15
5 sons and 2 daughters. I can't believe that flying has anything to do with it. The milkman has never flown anywhere apparantly !

Bad medicine
27th Aug 2004, 02:01
2 sons here, with a mix of fixed and rotary-wing.

27th Aug 2004, 09:03
BM..which one is "fixed" and which one "rotary"?

Bad medicine
29th Aug 2004, 00:51
Very good Hawk ;)

The young one is crazy about both - little adrenaline junky. The teenager has departed controlled flight :}



29th Aug 2004, 10:12
I can do one better, BM - I have 3 sons, all teenagers. The middle one just got into his 4th grand final for the year today...very exciting...upcoming are State Schoolboys football final on Wed, and Club U15 championship in 2 weeks...nothing to do with flying, any of that, of course.


29th Aug 2004, 11:47
I have heard it said in professional medical circles that in fact the the genetic make-up of an average pilot pre-disposes him to produce daughters. I can't quite remember all the reasons, something to do with the testosterone balance etc etc - certainly it sounded reasonably sensible at the time. I think it had to do with the most Darwinian likelihood of passing on the best genes, but yet another 'senior moment' prevents me from telling you why!
The specific conversation was aimed at Military or ex-Military pilots, though we all agreed at the time that was only because that was our grouping during that debate.
Two mates were ex RAF, and had produced two and three daughters respectively, I am ex Fleet Air Arm , I've got one of each, a further ex Navy mate has two daughters, another ex Navy mate two daughters, one son. One further ex RAF mate had three daughters and one son, another had one daughter, and if memory serves me right, just to complicate the entire thing, a further ex RN mate had four sons.

Maybe it has something to do with the type of women most pilots marry??? (Not to mention how many marriages they embark on!)

30th Aug 2004, 10:55
I think it mostly applies to military pilots and aerobatic pilots. It was suggested that it was in fact due to pulling G on a daily basis. I never heard it applied to airline pilots. I remember speaking to an ex Tornado F3 pilot. He said he only had a son after he took up airline flying.

Bomber Harris
5th Sep 2004, 18:31
Maybe we could make this the first ever study of the subject for modern airliner pilots.

Mr Moderator, is it possible to organise a poll where pilots can click and fill in how many 'of each' they have.

you would need to word the question to make it relevant e.g. how many boys/girls have you had after completing more than 500 hours TT. (no point in recording children born before you had a PPL!! Maybe there are other stipulations like that which could go into it??

It would be more interesting than filling in a survey on which of our sponsors we visit!!!!!

5th Sep 2004, 21:11
Just to add some confusion, a significant percentage of men (10, 20% ?) are not able to have boys, and it has nothing to do with flying.

This has been scientifically studied and published (sorry I'm unable to give any reference right now). Apparently it's linked to your type of clothing: tight pants lead to warmer temperature and drastic reduction in the production of Y chromosoms.

By the way, I also have kids: only girls !

6th Sep 2004, 11:43
2 girls, but little flying.

Have you seen this.

: Aviat Space Environ Med. 1976 Aug;47(8):889-92. Related Articles, Links

Sex ratio in offspring of pilots: a contribution to stress research.

Goerres HP, Gerbert K.

An old rumor - lately substantiated by statistical examinations from England - to the effect that pilots of high-performance military aircraft are "girl-fathers", could be reduced to absurdity through a comprehensive questionnaire investigation in the German Federal Armed Forces.Spermiogenesis does not seem to be disturbed by professional-specific influences (Radar radiation, G-forces etc.), as implied by the questionnaire findings. In times of high flying and personal stress (first 1000 flying hours) military jet pilots are even "boy-fathers". As soon as flying becomes a routine matter (after the 1000th flying hour) and thus less stressful, jet and helicopter pilots even become "girl-fathers". The pilots of military transport aircraft show no deviation from the control group of the male population of the Federal Republic of Germany with respect to the sex ratio of children procreated by them. The intention of this somewhat curious study was established by considerations that pilots would be entitled to protection and/or compensation for damages incurred in cases where their procreative capacity had been detrimentally affected by activities in the line of duty

Like the bit about flying becoming less stressful after 1000 hours ! Can't wait.

7th Sep 2004, 15:47
My family seems to support the theory: a son when I was on a ground tour and a daughter as soon as I went back to flying. But, if I read this thread correctly, things seem to be the other way round in the southern hemisphere. Coriolis?!

Non Normal
7th Sep 2004, 15:51
I am considering doing a large scale formal research into this are, as I find it rather interesting. The major problem that I see is to ensure that the offsprings are not those of milkmen, rather than the pilot themselves :E

8th Sep 2004, 15:47
ginger hair outcome measure validity is the key

Dixons Cider
8th Sep 2004, 16:16
Once read a theory somewhere that it is due to the fact that we sit on our arses all day.

The bowlacks need to be at a cooler temp than the body to function correctly, thats why they are external to our bods. You know the effect temp variation has on them - hot and they swing like a old Brahman bull, cold an they are up around your throat somewhere!!

Anyway, we pilots have deviated from what mother nature intended. We spend long hours sitting in a confined space, the poor old testes are overcooked and the result is an adundence of girl sperm as the little boy swimmers just cant hack the hot environment.

The answer - open your legs, aim the vent and let your boys swing free every chance you get!

On a more serious note, following the above theory, one would assume long haul pilots would have more of a tendancy toward female offspring than shorthaul etc. Interesting.. What about office workers seated at a desk for long hours??

8th Sep 2004, 19:35
Just don't tell my son's father, ok? :ooh:

Captain Airclues
8th Sep 2004, 19:53
one would assume longhaul pilots would have more of a tendancy towards female offspring than shorthaul.

36 years longhaul and three sons.


Dixons Cider
9th Sep 2004, 17:01
Well there goes my theory blown out of the water. I'll stick to what I know in future......!

10th Sep 2004, 01:10
My husband was RAAF; first fixed wing then rotary, and we had 3 daughters. Among the pilots at the time it was expected that they'd have girls, and it seemed to be mostly right.

The rumour at the time was that it was the nomex flying suits and heat related side effects or some such thing.

10th Sep 2004, 12:30

Moderate "G".

Low level ops.


May help with your thesis.

17th Sep 2004, 15:59
Surely we should start to see an increase in the number of women in the world then due to the fact that we all place radiation devices in our pockets otherwise known as mobile phones then? :oh:

27th Sep 2004, 12:20
I think the real reason is that the female chromozone sperm live longer than the male (male 24 hrs vs. female 72hrs). The male ones are faster so are more likely to reach the egg if intercourse is just after ovulation. However, pilots are not around every day of the week for intercourse ( I'm away on average 3 nights per week) therefore if you have sex 2-3 days before ovulation, the only sperm alive to reach the egg will result in a girl.

The fertlization window from ovulation to implantation is only 24 hours long.

Think the theories mentioned earlier are "urban myths" and red herrings.


28th Sep 2004, 09:39
Just come back onto pprune to find this thread.....I asked the same question some time ago (but I can't find the thread anymore) just as my wife was pregnant with (as it turned out) our second daughter. Someone posted a link to a Scandinavian research paper that found a definite disposition to female children in fighter pilots, but no link either way in airline pilots.

Bomber Harris
30th Sep 2004, 17:23
In the intersts of science I am prepared to compromise myself by offering my body for research. I suggest that I sleep with a control group of 500 air hostesses and try impregnate them all and we can see what % the boy girl ratio is. As it is a scientific study I would be granted complete anonimity....of course. Anybody prepared to make the necessary arrangements for me?

30th Sep 2004, 17:25
A bit if advice if you envisage future use of your procreation apparatus; don't put the offer up on the CC forum! ;)

30th Sep 2004, 17:26
25 years of flying and two sons. Trying to convince my wife for a third which will hopefully be a daughter! No luck as yet though.

1st Oct 2004, 04:58
I had completely forgotten about this myth, which was big back in the seventies...

Son arrived while my husband was a 737 co, daughter came when he was flying 707's. A pilot friend of ours, 727 then first generation 747, had 3 sons. So, there goes all the theories ;)


1st Oct 2004, 15:40
40 odd years of long haul, short haul, instruction, aerobatics, moments of sheer terror etc, produced two sons. Cousin pretty much the same career, produced two daughter, go figger??

I do remember being told the the acidy /alkalinity of the female internal plumbing did matter as it favoured one or other of the two types by slowing one and giving the edge to the other type of sperm. Can't remember which produced boys which girls but the medium could be detirmined before hand and then douched appropriately so as to 'choose' or at least swing the odds.

2nd Oct 2004, 00:31
28 yrs of flying, 19 yrs long haul and the rest short/medium haul.


3rd Jan 2005, 09:50
I have been a pilot for 25 years.
I have 3 daughters and 1 boy. I have also heard a theory similar to what Elisa explained.


3rd Jan 2005, 13:17
Flying for a living since 1977.

Jets including a fair bit of up to 7G, aeros etc / Helis / SEP including aeros / More Helis.

3 sons & 1 daughter. One wife.

Sort that little lot out? :confused:

3rd Jan 2005, 15:04
I would want to see an analysis of variance. Groups should be Long haul, non flying, short haul and a control group. Variables would include hours at high altitude, frequency of coition, alcahol consumption, excercise (ha ha as if) etc..

I would also like to get all the women to do a dream diary and examine them for penis envy. I suggest that the statistical instrument be Goodness of Fit. Er did I say that one out loud? :uhoh:

17th Jan 2005, 22:50
I have heard of Tornado F3 pilots all having daughters. According to my boss its all down to radar we use. .....

18th Jan 2005, 22:20
Been a Pilots since Jan 98 and the missus has had 2 boys.

Mu Beta
20th Jan 2005, 19:27
I have two friends who are airline pilots and married to each other and created a wee boy, so I can't see that it's probable, just co-incidence...
Also like the survey which proved that all male swimmers were likely to read a particular newspaper, it depends on the statistical evidence gathered and tests used upon it.

Circuit Basher
21st Jan 2005, 09:43
Flying as SLF with Air Cadets since 1972 in variety of Chipmunk / Bulldog / Tutor (approx 60 hrs, usually pulling G!).

Worked on radars (including Tornado) for around 10 yrs and absorbed a fair amount of microwaves in my time.

PPL since 96 - total time 200 hrs.

One son (7 months old).