Jumat, 27 Februari 2009

The Dark Side of Gender Preference

In China, 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. Experts think that the recent trend (since 1980) is the result of China’s “one-child” population-control policy, combined with a traditional society in which the eldest boy inherits the family land and is responsible for taking care of aging parents. So if a couple is planning on having just one child, usually they will decide it should be a boy. The boy/girl sex ratio is highest in rural areas; in cities, the earning power of women tends to be accompanied by a more normal sex ratio.

What can be done about it? One approach is educational programs to encourage couples to value daughters equally with sons; another is to allow families whose first child is a girl to have a second child; still another is to encourage young couples to live with her parents rather than his. The government is even offering cash payments for girls in some regions.

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