The folks at Sociological Images keep a great Pinterest Board,Pointlessly Gendered Products.  These products include

Kleenex,

Kleenex for men

earplugs,

earplugs

and sandwich bags.

sandwich bags

Now we find there is also gendered breast milk.

his-milk-her-milk_1

In Scientific American, Marissa Fessenden covers a new study that shows that poor women produce richer milk for daughters, while better-off women produce richer milk for sons.  Supposedly this is connected to evolutionary theory that posits that people prefer daughters in times of scarcity and sons in times of prosperity (note this is the same line of theory that brought us scientific rape apologists).

I have some questions:

  • What kind of milk do mothers produce for intersexed children?
  • What happens when a mother has boy-girl twins–does her milk change depending on which child she is feeding?
  • Do the pituitary gland and milk ducts recognize the sex of the child and the family’s financial status?
  • Did the researchers test differences by other dichotomies?  Birth weight?  Father involvement?  Length of umbilical cord?  Mother’s diet?  Big nosed or non-big nosed ?

opus

The article concludes,

These findings could have implications for formula, which could be tweaked to optimize development for both boys and girls.

Except that the richer milk was considered to be better for both girls and boys.  Formula that mirrored breast milk would have to be sold in two types:

  1. for rich girls and poor boys
  2. for poor girls and rich boys

I’m sure formula companies could find a way to market that.

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