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Why are baby boys more preferable?

June 16, 2009

I saw this piece in yesterday’s New York Times. Its on America’s new Chinese immigrants’ preference for boys in their families:

“In those families, if the first child was a girl, it was more likely that a second child would be a boy, according to recent studies of census data. If the first two children were girls, it was even more likely that a third child would be male.

Demographers say the statistical deviation among Asian-American families is significant, and they believe it reflects not only a preference for male children, but a growing tendency for these families to embrace sex-selection techniques, like in vitro fertilization and sperm sorting, or abortion.”

The cause?

“Joyce Moy, executive director of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute of the City University of New York, said that family values prevalent in China, including the tradition of elder parents depending on their sons for support, have seeped into American culture even among younger immigrants, and even when some of the historic underlying reasons for the preference are less relevant here than in China, Korea and India.

“Inheritance in the old country is carried through the male line,” she said. “Families depend on the male child for support.””

Hmmm. Old habits die hard. Read my previous post on why it sucks to be a male in Shanghai. I guess only in America can you make yourselves feel truly at home. And what is home if you don’t import all your problems too.

Now if you put this insistence on having baby boys together with the prospect that

a) males will eventually outnumber females (poorer males, you can forget about getting a bride)

b)  girls are consistently outperforming guys in college and if you’re a guy, you may soon have to kiss male dominance in the corporate jungle goodbye

how long do you think it’ll be before that preference for baby boys flips to a preference for baby girls. I mean if you were a parent, which would you rather have: a son that’s struggling to find a bride because there’s not enough gals out there and he’s not rich enuf to attract one? Or a smart up-and-coming corporate daughter or one married to a rich son in law.  😀

Maybe there’s a reason after all why you only find queen bees in a hive, never a king bee.

(Btw, this one-child policy (计划生育政策) only started in China in 1979. Its first generation has come of age and we’re already seeing the problems in Shanghai. Imagine what it’ll be like 50-60 years from now. I think any community that’s fixated on babies of a single gender, not just China, will face the same fate.)

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2009 10:10 am

    Mankind hasn’t come a long way. We’ve only made it round and round again in circles.
    In China they used to spit at wife if she delivered a 2nd or 3rd daughter. (As if that’s her fault.) Then made her throw the girl into a cesspool.. If I live in rural India, I’d probably die in the poorhouse (if there’s one), after marrying off all my girls. Lucky me. Think I better move to Shanghai while it’s still good. 😀

    You are doing pretty well here I think. Shanghai… I dunno but life there’s a bit too materialistic there for me. Worse than in L.A.

  2. June 16, 2009 11:03 am

    i think being a guy sucks
    men are getting their ass whoops by females these days ..
    look around you , how many men are kissing female’s arse today..

    when we go to a club , men “get lucky” …women “give in”
    how stupid is that ? a men’s body doesn’t worth as much as a female’s body ?

    we earn the same with women , and we are paying for everything . women gets to buy what they want without worrying about the future ..women wants to control men ..

    the only men that are surviving are the alpha males …

    anyway , damien . i think the logic about this whole why people prefer baby boys thing ..is simple ..
    if a baby boy turns out to be some super alpha male etc , then its cool ..you know ..
    if a baby boy turns out to be an average guy ..i think it is STILL OK

    if a baby girl turns out to be the upcoming-corporate women-hot chick and soon to get a rich in law son ..its cool
    if a baby girl turns out to be ugly and useless . you are pretty much screwed

    Hey I’ve seen a couple of ugly mugs leading great lives playing the villain in movies. 🙂

    But yeah you have a point. Question is would being an alpha carry you all the way, esp when you have 2-3 alphas chasing after the same hot chick like what happened in my high school. In Shanghai, its apparently not unusual for a married woman to divorce her husband to go for a richer man, and there will always be someone more alpha than you. So how?

  3. June 16, 2009 5:27 pm

    well , i don’t know how to answer that but ..

    but i think , normally . girls go after alphas …
    i seldom see 2-3 alphas going after 1 woman (unless she is Helen of Troy or something)

    i think it is safe to say an alpha male is super rare .
    every 10 women , 4-5 of them are hot or above average
    and every 100 men , there is only 1 alpha male ..

    so it is more like , you meet another alpha male ? cool ..you can be good friends ..
    there are plenty of fishes in the sea …

    heard before , “bro’s before ho’s ” ? LOL

    Helen of Troy? She looked like a butch in the movie. 🙂 Yeah we had a few alpha males in school. One each from the football, wrestling and baseball team. Not sure about your school but the alphas in mine guarded their territories and girls jealously. 🙂

  4. June 16, 2009 10:09 pm

    Yeah, you’re right 😀
    Why go and get Shanghaied when I got all I need right here?

    You could go for the best of both worlds. Get a well-off son in law there and then move back here as soon as the deal’s done. 😀

  5. June 17, 2009 8:09 am

    eh, i thought there was this research showing that there will be more and more girls in the future? i kinda believe in that because most of my married friends have daughters instead of sons.

    China is different because they mess around with gender outcomes but I do agree with you on the local scene ‘coz I’ve been noticing the same thing too. Maybe its to compensate for what’s happening in China?

  6. June 18, 2009 7:58 am

    China guy + local girl? erm…not good la. Not good at all for us in Malaysia 😛

    I haven’t met any Sg or My guys married to a PRC but I have met a couple of Indonesian ones. In fact I know one Indon guy (Chinese) who got married to a woman from Beijing and moved to Taiwan. They seem to be doing ok.

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