The Issue Of Son Preference

son preference

Despite the rise of women independence in this modern day and age, there are still people preferring sons over daughters in Asia. It could be seen that the issue of son preference has brought its consequences in China. Here are some of the reasons why this preference exist and the results from it.

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son preference

The “Disadvantages” of Having Daughters

  • Economic Support

It is believed that boys are able to provide parents with economic support when they grow up. However, daughters would usually not be able to get jobs as good or well paid as sons. Even if they do, it is assumed that the money earned would go to their husband’s families instead.

  • Financial Liability

It seems having a daughter would be more expensive as parents would need to spend on the child’s education as well as save up for her marriage in the future and other occasions in her life.

  • Wasteful Investment

Some parents think having a daughter is a wasteful investment as they would only grow up to be ‘married off’. After marriage, daughters would live with her husband’s family and her own parents would have to live by themselves if they don’t have any sons.

  • Extra Protection

In a world where there could be sexual predators in every corners possible, parents would need to be more protective if they have daughters. It would seem to be an additional responsibility.

  • Ancestor Worship

This appears to be one of the main factors Asian parents favour sons over daughters. Children are expected to carry and continue the family name and daughters will not be able to fulfil this. Hence, sons are much preferred compared to daughters.

son preference

The Consequences

Due to the one-child policy in China few years back, it has caused a huge amount of sex-selective abortions to take place. When restricted to only being able to have one child, parents with this kind of mindset are desperate to have boys. As a result, many cases of female fetuses and babies were aborted or abandoned.

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Aside from that, the sex ratio of birth is also imbalanced as the amount of male population exceeds that of females by a large gap. This is not only a problem in China but also of India and the neighbouring countries.

As these men are coming of age, they are not able to marry due to the extreme lack of women in the countries, causing loneliness. Bigger problems also arise from this. Namely, the sudden increase in the crimes of sexual violence, human trafficking and prostitution.

son preference

Understanding the Value of Daughters

In recent years, more and more parents are beginning to see the value of having daughters. There have been parents who confessed that daughters are more nurturing and self-sacrificing when it comes to taking care of their parents.

There are cases of sons refusing to give their parents money despite everything they received from their parents. While daughters bring money and gifts when returning to visit their parents. What is the use of having sons continuing the family name if they don’t appreciate the love you’ve shown them and take care of you when you’re old?

Of course, this does not mean all sons are bad and all daughters are good. It all depends on how your child is brought up and the relationship between parent and child. The point is to encourage gender equality.

The gender of your child shouldn’t determine your love for them, you should love them because they are yours.

For more articles like this, please visit Motherhood.com.my.

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