From Full Moons to Baldness


Our search for Kathy's sister, following Rhea's instructions, proved fruitless. Rhea says animals must have eaten the body.

MYTH #6 — Does Shaving Cause Hair to Grow Back Faster and Thicker?

No one denies that shaving makes a boy's face feel more manly, and many people believe that's because the more you shave, the thicker the hair grows back. Women seem to think the same thing about shaving their legs.

We spoke to some barbers who think that if you shave, it will make hair grow faster.

But is that really true?

Dr. Howard Sobel, a dermatologist who has spent years studying hair, said this myth is silly. "Think about it," he said. "Little girls grow up and they're told not to shave their hair, because if they start shaving their hair on their legs, they're going to have to continuously shave their hair. And that's not true at all. It's not going to grow back thicker. It's not going to grow back coarser. It's not going to grow back more quickly."

And the little boy who wants to make his facial hair grow is going to be disappointed, Sobel said.

The sad truth, for bald men at least, is, it's all about heredity — it has nothing to do with how often you shave. And while that's good news for women, it hasn't stopped follically challenged men from trying.

MYTH # 5 — If You Carry Your Baby Low During Pregnancy, It's a Boy

It's a nine-month wait to find out the sex of a new baby, leaving a lot of time for guessing. For centuries, predicting the sex of a child has been a popular pastime. Today it remains as much a part of a pregnancy as hand-me-down baby clothes.

ABCNEWS talked with a group of women at a pre-natal exercise class and they were well-acquainted with the theory that if the baby is sitting high in the mother, it's going to be a girl. If it's hanging low, the saying goes, it's a boy.

"These myths are very amusing and perhaps there was some story behind it in the past, but, no, there is no way … by telling whether it's going to be a boy or a girl," said Dr. Paula Randolph, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia University Hospital.

Science does let you find out if you want to know what color to paint the nursery.

Sonograms or ultrasounds are extremely accurate after 18 to 20 weeks. But without an ultrasound, it's little more than an old wives' tale, and guessing.

So, when a woman claims, "I've got this big belly down low, definitely a boy," how does Randolph respond?

"You have a 50 percent chance of being right or wrong," Randolph said.

MYTH #4 — Is It Dangerous to Swim After Eating?

It's the danger in the water your mother warned you about: Swimming right after eating is dangerous and if you do it, you will get a cramp and maybe drown.

Dr. Tim Johnson asked a swimming class what they thought. They believed it. When he told them it was a myth, they didn't believe him.

Dr. Jane Katz has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame for her contributions as an expert on swimming. But even she can't convince this beginner's swim class at New York City's John Jay College that swimming after eating isn't dangerous.

Katz said, "Part of this myth, … is basically comfort, because after you eat you always get tired. The reason is of course your circulation is going to the intestines and sometimes if you try to exercise vigorously you get a stitch."

But even if you get a stitch, or a cramp, it's not life-threatening.

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