Tough, aggravating women are more likely to give birth to boys, a researcher has found. This type of woman has higher testosterone levels and is likely to produce more boys?and thus become a mother-in-law. Also, historical data shows that babies are more likely to die if their father’s mothers are around.

New Zealand researchers used an internet questionnaire to assess how dominant an pregnant woman?s personality was. Women were asked to choose from a list of 64 adjectives, such as proud, free, bored, awed and arrogant. Among them were 13 words linked with high levels of dominance. Most women chose 3 of these words, but Dr. Valerie Grant, of the University of Auckland, found those who checked over 8 of the key words had an 80% chance of having a boy. She also found that the women who had high scores in dominance also had high levels of testosterone.

Grant says, “People everywhere have it ingrained in them that the father’s big contribution process is the sex of the offspring.” But she believes women control gender selection as well and says, “I think the evidence that the male has anything to do with it is very flimsy.”

In separate research, a study of German peasants living in the 18th and 19th centuries found that having the father’s mother around doubled a baby’s chance of dying. Researchers from Germany’s Giessen University believe this could be because the mother-in-law could not be sure the child was her own flesh and blood. If she decided the child wasn?t related to her, she could have consciously or unconsciously neglected the baby.

The researchers looked at church registers to find birth and death data for low-income families in the Krummh

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