Son Preference and Imbalanced Sex Ratio at Birth: Cultural Foundations of Demand

  • April 10, 2013
  • By Yang Juhua
  • Editor: Zhang Ningning
  • Change Text Size: A  A  A

Key words: son preference, demand for sons, sex ratio at birth, sex imbalance

Abstract: A skewed sex ratio at birth is a common phenomenon among countries with son preference in the process of fertility transition. It reflects that, in certain cultural contexts, women's interests may conflict with household and group interests. Drawing on recognition of demand, this paper elaborates the foundations of a preference for sons and proposes suggestions to alleviate such a demand and reduce the imbalance of sex ratio at birth by recognizing that gender inequality at the group level may provide individuals and households with better survival opportunities, securities, social status and esteem, and the realization of individual life goals. Hence, to reduce the imbalance of sex ratio at birth, it is necessary to alleviate the demand for sons. Specifically, weak links should be first identified and replaced by new supplying methods that highlight gender equality; then, various forces should be joined together in order to shake the basis of son preference, and finally to reach the goal to bring the abnormal sex ratio at birth back to normal.

(Source: Collection of Women's Studies)

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