By Vanessa Allen
In a different era, expectant mothers were always supposed to be desperate for a son.
But now internet bloggers have reported a rise in the number of mothers who only want daughters: the Smug Mother Of Girls, or SMOG.
The tongue-in-cheek nickname applies to mothers who adore their daughters, and appear horrified by the prospect of raising boys.
Desperate for a daughter: Victoria Beckham had longed for a daughter before Harper was born and could now become a member of the SMOGs
And it appears to be borne out by some fertility doctors, who have reported seeing a rise in the number of pregnant women who want a girl.
Some prospective parents travel abroad to be implanted with a selected embryo so they can guarantee the sex of their child, a procedure which is illegal in Britain.
The term has become a familiar phrase on the internet site Mums-net since last year.
One user wrote: ‘There’s an expression smogs – Smug Mums of Girls! I find that some mums who only have girls find boys annoying and are alarmed and judgmental about their behaviour.
‘They tut when boys chase pigeons in the park or shout nearby.’
Adored: The term appears to apply to mothers who appear horrified at the prospect of raising boys and are alarmed and judgemental over their behaviour (posed by models)
Another blogged: ‘I know too many mothers of girls (or SMOGs) who truly believe that boys are unpleasant, noisy, smelly creatures who just take the look off the place and generally get in the way.’
Some Mumsnet users joked the phenomenon had become so widespread that mothers with boys had invented their own term for themselves – DMOBs, or Defensive Mothers of Boys.
One said: ‘I think it’s time to wheel out another abbreviation, DMOB – “defensive mums of boys” – for the mums who just know that in any given crowd of children it may well be a boy, possibly her boy, who appears to be causing the riot.
When DS#1 [Darling Son number one] was little you always seemed to find him in the centre of a whirlwind of chaos – SMOGs would draw their little girls away from him in horror.’
Unhappiness with a child’s gender is now so common it has been recognised as a psychological condition, known as ‘gender disappointment’.
The condition, which is also discussed widely on internet support forums, is often treated similarly to post natal depression.
Psychologist Graham W Price said both parents could feel the disappointment, but whereas women generally want to have girls, men’s preferences can go either way.
He said: ‘Gender disappointment can affect fathers just as much as mothers. In fact, it often takes men longer than women to get over their regret, as there is a biological imperative for women to bond with their children.’