I was reminded of a conversation I had in high school with a female friend. Somehow we too were discussing the relative advantages of being male versus female. When I asked her if she would rather be a guy, she said, "Oh no! Guys have to worry about the draft and a career and things like that." Okay, maybe she wasn't the most liberated woman I have ever met, but there was some truth in her statement. On my eighteenth birthday, I had to register for the draft, something none of my female classmates had to do. And it was pretty much only guys - and their significant others - who were glued to the TV screen one night a year waiting to see what their draft lottery number would be, a number that would basically determine whether they were sent to Vietnam or not.
On the other hand, I admit that there have been many times in a delivery room, as we waited for a mother to deliver and heard her cries while in the throes of labor, that I have said to the nurse with me, "I am so glad I'm not a woman." And I am, especially at those times. Let's face it, it just doesn't seem right that a seven pound little being can come through that thing it comes through.
One thing is for sure, though. If you're a premature baby, you're better off being a girl. Everything else being equal, premie girls do better than premie boys. I'm not sure why; maybe it's a natural selection thing, because we need more women than men to propogate the species. Whatever the reason, that fact did little to soothe my menopausal friends.
P.S. A new Grand Rounds is up at Doc Around the Clock.