每日英語跟讀 Ep.825: Americans Might No Longer Prefer Sons Over Daughters
Around the world, parents have typically preferred to have sons more than to have daughters, and U.S. parents have been no different. But there are signs that’s changing. It may be because there’s less bias against girls, and possibly more bias against boys.
Gallup surveyed Americans 10 times from 1941-2011, and their answers remained virtually unchanged: If they could have one child, 40 percent would prefer a boy and 28 percent a girl (the rest showed no preference).
A new study, however, measured that preference in a different way. While having a daughter versus a son used to make U.S. parents more likely to keep having children, theoretically to try for a son, now the opposite is true: Having a daughter makes it less likely that they keep having children. Some data from adoptions and fertility procedures that allow parents to choose the sex of their baby also shows a preference, to varying degrees, for girls.
First- and second-generation U.S. immigrants, the new study found, continue to show a preference for sons. They are more likely to keep having babies after having a daughter — particularly if they are from countries with less gender equity and lower female labor force participation.
Across cultures, the bias against daughters has been closely tied to women’s second-class status. Sons have been more likely to be successful, carry on the family name and earn money to support family members in old age.
But the status of women in the United States has undergone a revolution in the last four decades. Women still face deep inequality and sexism, but they are now more likely to pursue rewarding careers and have a greater role in family decision-making. They are also more likely to be college graduates than are men.
Men without college degrees are struggling in the modern job market, which rewards brains more than brawn. And teenage boys and men are almost entirely the bad actors in certain crises the nation is facing, like mass shootings and sexual harassment. The diminishing preference for sons could indicate, among some parents, a growing bias against boys.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/325066/web/