Budding Indian mothers have been advised to eat heaps, sleep facing west and have sex only on days 1,3,5 and 7 of the week among six suggestions, should they want to conceive a son.

The bizarre health advice was published on a Malayalam news website, Mangalam, and an English translation of the article was put up on The Ladies Finger, a website advocating for women’s rights.

The Mangalam article advised its women readers that  ‘male sperm was stronger and pushier’ on certain days of the week, on which days they were encouraged to have sex. Having breakfast regularly is another habit that helps borne a boy, according to the Malayalam language piece.

Men have been asked to avoid ‘acidic’ food, as it reduced the potency of their semen.

The BBC, which also carried the story, quoting experts who debunked the article completely. The UK state broadcaster pointed out rightly that chromosome in father’s sperm alone determined the child’s sex.

“The chance of a girl or a boy at conception is totally random,” a London-based gynaecologist, Dr Shazia Malik, was quoted at saying by the BBC.

Dr Malik also said that there was no scientific evidence on any method that would change this statistical chance when a baby was conceived naturally.

However, similar perceptions about food habits influencing the outcome of pregnancy aren’t uncommon in India, where birth of a daughter is still frowned upon in some conservative households. There is an ongoing debate about gender inequality in the country, with many experts also blaming deep-rooted patriarchy for high number of sexual assaults against women and atrocious sex ratio.

At 914 females for every 1000 males under the age of seven in 2011, India’s sex ratio compares rather poorly to the developed world. The number of girls under seven stood at 914 for every 1000 males in 1961.