Are women in China still preferring baby boys over baby girls?

mother-daughterAlthough, the status of women in China is getting better, still there are some parents who prefer to have a male child. What’s more shocking is the fact that those women who had suffered gender discrimination before are themselves in the favor of having a male child.

At present, the preference of a male child over daughter in China is not that widespread like it used to be couple of decades ago. When China applied its ‘One Child Policy’ in 1979, (with exception to rural parts of China where more than one child was allowed) it brought a real change in the attitudes of community where girls were showered with more love like never before.

However, the real question is-Do the families in China still prefer male child over female, and who are responsible for the continuity for such trend? It’s hard to get the answer, but to some extent such preferences are still common in rural regions where most of the bigger families prefer to have one son at least. The reason for this is quite obvious; they need a son who can further carry the male lineage. For instance, if there are two brothers in a family, and the elder one has a son, then there is less pressure on the younger one to bear a male child.

In other words, the traditions or customs make it important to have a son who can lead the family, cultivate fields, generate networking relationships and make all the important decisions. Although, it’s not necessary that all the families in the rural regions think like that, still to a large extent, traditions & customs have played a major role in keeping this belief alive.

At present, in developing China, different people have different attitudes towards having a male child. But, there are several factors that can lead to gender preference by families such as education, tradition or pressure from the family. In fact, according to some studies, those women who had faced gender discrimination by their own parents themselves favor male child over female. The reason for this is quite simple; they have an inferiority complex which makes them believe that a female child is a lesser being than a male child. In other words, we can say that they are preserving the traditional beliefs. No mother wants her child to suffer what she had in the past, and this is the reason why she prefers a male child. They fear that if they will bear a female child, she will to suffer discrimination like her mother. Besides, most of these women prefer to marry a boy who already has a brother so that there’s not enough pressure on her to bear a male child.

The motives of such women are good, as they don’t want to end up in a situation where the extended family’s desire for a son may result into discrimination against the new born daughter. It would be a situation where the husband and wife would find themselves trapped to the customary beliefs. Besides, if a family already has a son, then the newborn daughter will enjoy more love from her family.

It is quite understandable that women do not want to have a daughter who may suffer all the pains of discrimination that they themselves suffered in their childhood. In fact, these women believe that they will themselves end up discriminating their daughters and favor sons like their own grandparents or parents did in the past.

Women like these fail to notice that times have changed now and in China the views of people towards gender based discrimination has changed to a large extent. So in the end we can say that no matter how good the intentions are, a traumatic experience in the past can play a major role in preserving and allowing the continuity of unwanted practice for future generations to come. It is more like bringing back the trauma, instead of looking into the future and identifying new opportunities and change in the society.