Preference for sons is fading away in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-31 0:03:01

I was startled to read an article published in the Global Times the other day about patriarchal parenting, a topic I thought belonged to the 1990s.

As an only girl beloved by my parents, I never thought "son preference" was an issue facing modern families in the 21st century.

The author used Barbie Hsu Hsi-huan's story as a lead to introduce the idea of "son preference." Barbie Hsu, a famous actress from Taiwan, recently gave birth to her second child, a son, which led to her sister, Dee Hsu, a well-loved host in Taiwan, who has three daughters being chased by media. Dee Hsu was asked by reporters whether she felt "defeated" by her sister and whether she wants a son.

Such boring questions shouldn't be taken too seriously.

The author claimed that "People who prefer to have a boy are still common, and a great number of parents-to-be say that they hope for a boy." Admittedly, certain people prefer boys to girls. However, I don't think patriarchal values stills play a key role in modern society.

Many friends of mine want a boy because they don't have the heart to see their daughters suffer the pain of pregnancy in the future.

Compared with ancient times, "family names" are less important in the 21st century. More and more children are carrying their mother's family name. This phenomenon is especially outstanding after the relaxation of the one-child policy.

It is quite common that the elder child follows their father's family name and meanwhile the younger one carries on their mother's.

Even in some rural areas, with the improving of the educational level, girls are receiving more attention from their families than before. Educated daughters are as capable as sons in earning money, and thus they share same responsibilities in caring for their parents.

In addition, an increasing number of villagers are flowing into cities, which means the idea of gender equality is gradually infiltrating into these rural citizens' minds.

Patriarchy is weakening in underdeveloped villagers, let alone major developed cities.

There is no need to be too worried about "son preference." Huge progress has been made over the past decades in promoting gender equality in China.

With improving earning capabilities and educational levels, women are enjoying higher social status than before. Peoples' stereotypes about girls are weakening as time goes on.

Little Jelly, a freelancer in Beijing

Posted in: Letters

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