Wedding Ring Gender Test

Baby boy or girl?

If you simply can't wait for a sonogram to find out whether you are having a boy or a girl, there are alternative ways to guess at the baby's sex. The wedding ring gender test is an old method for predicting the sex of a developing baby using a wedding ring and a string. This ring test over the belly is completely safe and is one of the most common types of gender prediction tests.

Instructions for the Ring Gender Test

If you are pregnant, the ring test can be a fun option to guess the baby's gender. This is sometimes called the pendulum gender test. The simple test can be completed in nearly any setting. Just follow a few steps to see whether the ring indicates a boy or girl in your future. Steps for how to do the ring test are as follows:

  1. Attach the mom-to-be's wedding ring to a thread.
  2. Have the mom lie on her back.
  3. Dangle the thread over the expectant mother's belly.
  4. Allow the string to move without interfering with the motion.
Partner holding gold ring attached to piece of string over partner's abdomen

Alternative Methods

There are other variations you can try with this test. For example:

  • Use a strand of hair instead of thread.
  • Allow the ring to dangle over the expectant mother's wrist instead of her belly.
  • Place the threaded ring in the palm of the mom's hand for a moment and then lift the string and allow it to dangle over her palm.
  • Dangle the string in front of the mother's belly while she is standing.

Interpreting Results of the Ring Pregnancy Test

Interpreting the result from the test is very easy, especially compared to other methods that use chemicals and changing colors to determine the baby's sex.

  • If the ring moves in a back-and-forth, pendulum-style motion, the test indicates that the baby is a boy.
  • If the ring moves in a circular motion, the test indicates that the baby is a girl.

When to Use This Test

Many women perform this gender prediction test with their significant other, and it can be done at home at any time. Others may find they want everyone to share the experience and do the test with their friends at a girls' night out in celebration of the upcoming birth. Some women even enjoy having their baby shower guests guess what the baby's sex will be before performing the test at the gathering.

How Accurate Is the Ring Gender Test?

There is no scientific evidence which supports being able to determine a baby's gender using the wedding ring on a string method. Correct results are usually just luck, so the test is more for fun than an actual reading of your child's gender. As an example, an informal poll posted at showed the ring test was only accurate for about 55 out of the 84 people who responded. There are much more accurate ways to determine your baby's gender, including an ultrasound, amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling or, most recently, through a DNA test.

Woman holding sonogram over pregnant belly

How Ideomotor Movements Affect Test Accuracy

The power of suggestion can lead to the ideomotor effect which occurs when an individual's muscle movements are subconsciously influenced by certain expectations, and this can affect the outcome of the gender test. For example, if the person conducting the test expects the baby to be a boy, or someone else suggests it will be, the person performing the test automatically makes the string swing like a pendulum without being aware of it. Since the subtle movement happens without conscious effort, it occurs involuntarily. William B. Carpenter actually coined the phrase "ideomotor action" to describe this type of muscle movement.

Other Influences Which Can Affect Accuracy

Other factors may influence the results of your test. In relationship to the poll results published at, community members discussed accuracy challenges due to shaky hands, differences in results according to who is holding the string, and the proximity of the string to the belly. This shows that practically any variable can influence the outcome of the test.

History of Gender Prediction Methods

Unfortunately, there appears to be no documentation about when people began using the ring method, but it certainly predates modern technology which makes it simple to determine gender by using ultrasounds or blood tests. The wedding ring method is simply one of many old wives' tales which are rooted in superstition and used to help determine gender before a baby was born.

Wooden blocks with letters on pregnant woman's belly, reading as boy

Safe Alternative to Some Home Tests

Safety is crucial when it comes to pregnancy, and some of the other home-testing methods, like the Drano test, are dangerous and inaccurate. In comparison, the wedding ring test is a nice option to consider. The method is simple, safe, and can be a fun bonding experience even if the accuracy rate is about equal to a good guess.

Old Wives' Tale Gender Test

One of the fun parts of being pregnant is finding out the sex of the baby. This test may be an old wives' tale, but it might hold you over until you find out for certain what lies beneath your baby bump. Just don't run out and buy any gender-specific baby items based on your results.

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Wedding Ring Gender Test