When Khloe Kardashian announced her unborn baby's sex on Sunday’s season finale of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the world found out it was a girl —and no one was more shocked than Khloe herself.
The 33-year-old mom-to-be had a delayed reaction to being thrilled, saying, “I was convinced that I was having a boy, so to be having a girl it’s just like, ‘Okay that wasn’t what I thought was going on.’”
Kylie Jenner had called her big sister to deliver the news that she’d be having a daughter.
“When you have your mind made up as to what you’re having … everyone told me you’re going to feel what you’re having and you’ll just kind of know,” Khloe said after the call. “And then when you find out it’s the complete opposite, it’s just a shock.”
Khloe then called momager Kris Jenner and broke the news.
“I’m really hoping Kylie’s gonna say she’s lying and like I’m really having a boy,” she told her mom.
Kris had to reassure her daughter that she would also love a girl.
'Khloe, the only thing I wanted in life, the only thing, was a boy. Three times, and I got the three of you,” Kris told her.
She seemed to come around to a female quickly, saying on her own website: “I can't believe I'm having a girl! It was such a special moment and I'm so happy I got to share it with you guys…Thank you Lord for our princess!”
What Khloe experienced is often described as “gender disappointment,” and although it’s not an actual medical diagnosis, it’s completely real. It’s when a mom-to-be goes through a sadness or depression after learning the sex of the baby is not the sex she was hoping for.
Many don’t even admit they were experiencing it.
Dr. Stephan Quentzel, a psychiatrist in New York, has worked through gender disappointment with patients before, and says it can manifest as depression.
“It could do with family pressures, the sex of existing children,” he tells Personal Space, adding that parents who suffer from it are “almost always satisfied when that beautiful bundle of joy is in their arms.”
“It takes seconds to dissipate, for others it can linger more, but that’s a minority,” he says.
Khloe should feel comfort in having a girl, since Sunday’s New York Times addressed the topic of raising different sexes with a story headlined: “Americans Might No Longer Prefer Sons Over Daughters; New evidence suggests a shift, possibly because of ‘a subtle fear of boys and the trouble they might bring.’”
“Gallup surveyed Americans 10 times from 1941 to 2011, and their answers remained virtually unchanged: If they could have one child, 40 percent would prefer a boy and 28 percent a girl (the rest showed no preference)” the reports says. “A new study, however, measured that preference in a different way. While having a daughter versus a son used to make American parents more likely to keep having children, theoretically to try for a son, now the opposite is true: Having a daughter makes it less likely that they keep having children. Some data from adoptions and fertility procedures that allow parents to choose the sex of their baby also shows a preference, to varying degrees, for girls.”
The people who continued to prefer sons were found to be first- and second-generation American immigrants.
“Across cultures, the bias against daughters has been closely tied to women’s second-class status,” said the report. “Sons have been more likely to be successful, to carry on the family name and to earn money to support family members in old age.”
But since the status of women in the United States has undergone a revolution in the last four decades, the idea of sons first is changing.
“As women have gained more decision-making power in marriages, and become more likely to be single mothers, they might be exercising their daughter preference more often than they used to.”
“‘There’s been a much more complete gender revolution for women than for men,’ said Dan Clawson, a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. ‘If I’m raising a daughter, I’m raising someone who can challenge conventions, and that’s an attraction. On the other hand, if I’m raising a boy, am I raising someone who’s going to get in trouble, who won’t do well in school and so on?’” the report said.
New York Magazine’s recent cover story is called, “How to Raise a Boy,” and delves into the hardships of parenting a male in our current world.
“For generations, boys have been raised in environments that seemed designed to cultivate, and then sublimate, aggression, sometimes right up to the border of sociopathy. (We recoil at Fight Club, but it basically depicts the secret life of boys aged 8 to 14. Men are Tyler Durden spliced with Beavis.)
Those masculine scripts seem especially problematic today: Trained by superhero movies, inspired by planet-straddling athlete-gods and tech tycoons more powerful than entire governments, boys are reared to tame their aggressions, then asked to navigate a bleak, winner-take-all economic landscape. Thanks in part to more enlightened attitudes about gender and parenting, it is hard not to see male entitlement and aggression as toxic forces degrading our culture. But it is also hard not to notice that the world is now run by the aggressive and the bullying.”
NYMag reports that overall, girls are getting better grades than boys, and have become more successful in the boardroom. They report that the lessening power of men is a good thing.
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