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Why are boys more valued?


Moxie
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I just read a snippet about a doctor in India who is trying to change the way people view daughters (not as wanted as sons) by not charging to deliver girls and having a party in the hospital at the birth of a girl.

 

It made me think--why are men always more highly valued? You see it in different times and different cultures that sons are valued over daughters. Are there any cultures that value daughters over sons??

 

Is it due to physical strength? Men can overpower women so they get to be the boss so sons are better?

 

It makes no sense. Women grow children! That's pretty darn important! In my head, the birth of a girl would ensure that your family line continues. Why do most cultures view sons as better??

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There are a lot of reasons, probably all or most stemming from times when women were viewed as property.

 

My own thoughts on the subject:

Family name is passed down through the father. Women traditionally take their husband's name when they get married. Only daughters means the family name dies.

There was a time when women were not allowed to own property. You need sons.

Women used to not be allowed into certain professions. Sons needed.

Men had the earning power, the hunting power, the power. Thus the impression is that women were there to make men comfortable and take care of their needs.

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The family name is why sons are valued more in chinese culture even now. It is rare that children take the family name of the mother instead of the father.

 

There are tribes/communities (can't think of the correct word right now) in Asia who are matriarchal.

Edited by Arcadia
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I think historically it's because men had capital value.  They could earn money, conduct business, hold property/wealth.

 

Women have also lost value, because of the push to lower birth rates.  Women used to valued, in part, for the ability to produce children, who would do productive work for the family (many children were needed, because much labor was needed, and because some would die).  Which sounds mercenary, but was just a reality of survival for most people through history.

 

We stopped value children, so we stopped valuing fertility, so we stopped valuing women.

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Historically as well because men were the only ones who could make a living for the family, you wanted a son so you would have someone to take care of you in your old age. No social security, nursing homes, etc. you had to depend upon family and having a son would a way of making sure your future was secure.

 

Even today I have people make comments about how my dh and I stopped having kids once we got a boy. They will say this even in front of my girls. It drives me batty because it's so insulting. As if our one goal in having children was to have a son and that's all that mattered.

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As others have said..... men could pass on the family name, inherit (daughters could not always in some cultures), work, etc.

 

Daughters were good for alliances, but you still needed men.  Also in the case of daughters, they would cost you money for a dowry (although in Islam, a woman is given the dowry.)

 

In theory in Islam, daughters should be more valued as it is said if you raise daughters well, you are guaranteed an entry into heaven.  One of the things about Prophet Muhammad is that he only had surviving daughters....and he doted on them.  His one son died either in child birth or shortly after.  He banned female infanticide. 

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Well, this is common but not ubiquitous.  The answer can depend on the culture.

 

In cultures where the daughters eventually join the husband's family, there are often a few issues.  One is that their work there will ultimately go on to enrich a different family - the effect on their birth family will be mainly through the quality of the connection.  So while they are being raised, money and time spent will ultimately go out of the immediate family.   And often, there is going to be a dowry that has to be found for daughters and possibly a wedding paid for, and that can be a substantial cost - enough to make a financial difference  or sometimes even simply out of reach for the family to pay.

 

A son on the other hand will be able to directly contribute to the state of the family through his work, and support his parents.  He will bring a wife - ideally one with a good dowry and who will herself contribute to the family. 

 

THis can become even more pronounced in families which have taken on a more modern tendency to have only a few children - everything may be riding on one son.

 

THe other thing is, more generally, while women do have the babies, which is important, that also incapacitates them in some ways.  THis seems especially to depend on the way of life of the people, but women who have small kids and are pregnant are often very dependent on men for certain kinds of functions, in a very immediate way.  Also, while it isn't pretty to think about, a pregnant or nursing mother is a pretty substantial investment of time and energy for a man that is supporting them, so I suppose that wanting to control that investment makes a certain amount of sense in that context.

 

In pre-modern cultures, wives die quite a lot too, so perhaps that is a factor.

Edited by Bluegoat
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So, we drew the genetic short straw? I guess that makes some sense. A pregnant woman or one with a baby strapped to her back needs protection vs being able to protect equal to a man.

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So, we drew the genetic short straw? I guess that makes some sense. A pregnant woman or one with a baby strapped to her back needs protection vs being able to protect equal to a man.

 

 

That is probably part of it I guess.  THough in cultures where they have a hard time keeping the population stable, women are pretty valued, but not necessarily in a way we are comfortable with.

 

We, as a culture, tend to find the idea of being valued for our biological capacities offensive.  Which is really rather interesting.

 

Some cultures have a much greater role for women in other areas though, like politics.  Many of them are agricultural, I think, but I may be mistaken about that.

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For India? Castes are rigid. Dowries are expensive.

 

I don't support abortion or infanticide, and don't find it more repugnant for sex selection than other justifications. But the entire cultural notion of valuing one sex more highly than the other is damaging on multiple levels and needs to be abolished. Humans can excuse and rationalize all manner of horrors, unfortunately.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I think historically it's because men had capital value.  They could earn money, conduct business, hold property/wealth.

I used to think this -- that economic forces led to women being less valued -- I still think it's part of the story. But even in hunter-gatherer cultures where woman collected half or more of the food, they were often less valued. Plus, in some professions, women being barred from a profession and the profession getting higher prestige/wealth went hand in hand  (e.g., the origins of the medical profession).

 

Honestly, I do think it's about childbearing. Women are slightly weaker in general, and then very vulnerable when childbearing -- violence embodies a real power to control the scope of action of others. And,we're more likely to leave the labor force for months if not years due to having children, because biology (e.g., pregnancy, nursing) would tilt things toward the woman staying home even if everything else were equal. So over time women tend to accrue less economic power in relationships.

 

There is an aspect of culture lag to this, too. Some of these forces become less salient all the time (e.g., with the decline of blue-collar occupations in the US and the increase in female educational attainment), but long-term effects that have persisted through culture.

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My understanding from having many Indian friends is that it is based on religion.  One big thing is that your son is supposed to light the funeral pyre when you die.  If you don't have a son, things might not go as well for your soul.

 

Traditionally, sons stay and daughters leave.  That is not always the case now, but ingrained values change slowly.

 

Personally I always thought girls were more fun and easier to raise.  Decades ago I made the mistake of telling an Indian friend that it would be great if the unborn child of her relative/friend turned out to be a girl.  Her response:  "how can you say something so mean?!"

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My understanding from having many Indian friends is that it is based on religion. One big thing is that your son is supposed to light the funeral pyre when you die. If you don't have a son, things might not go as well for your soul.

 

Traditionally, sons stay and daughters leave. That is not always the case now, but ingrained values change slowly.

 

Personally I always thought girls were more fun and easier to raise. Decades ago I made the mistake of telling an Indian friend that it would be great if the unborn child of her relative/friend turned out to be a girl. Her response: "how can you say something so mean?!"

which is all kinds of bizzaro. How can a WOMAN value a male child over a female?? That's kind of like wishing you were born male.
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In India, isn't it because of dowry expenses?

 

Here in the U.S.,  I typically see more daughter preferences. But maybe that's because it's socially acceptable to express a desire for a daughter but not socially acceptable to talk about wanting a son.

 

That's my experience/observation as well.

 

No clue what the reasons are, but yep.

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This thread raises the question of why property was passed down through the male and not the female in the first place. Why a dowry in the first place? There are some traditions that do pass property and names through females, though they are a distinct minority. Some anthropologists and sociologists are studying why these groups are different from the vast majority of human groups.

 

I think it's very weird, given that women can be more sure of maternity, than men of paternity, that men would pass down the name and the property.

 

On the other hand maybe that's how women prove to men that it's really theirs? If women have their names and their property they kind of get everything. Maybe the name and the property is a consolation prize in the genetic game.

 

I wonder how much birth control and genetic testing will affect this, actually. To me that's a big deal. So much of law and family structure rules are based on the notion that a man deserves to know who his kids are, and to provide for them and only them if he so chooses, but that he can't really know... I wonder how being able to really know early on will change things.

 

The Y chromosome information can only be passed down from father to son, unlike mitochondrial DNA which women pass to their sons and their daughters--though only their daughters pass it to their grand-daughters. The Y can't be passed to a daughter. So for men, male to male lines are important. Even if they didn't know the scientific details, observations of generation after generation probably led people to value males as being able to inherit certain things. Who knows? But if that is the case, that is one biological reason men might defend their right to pass property through the male, because they are able to verify paternity more easily.

 

This is all unscientific speculation, however.

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Why a dowry in the first place?

 

Because the man's family will be getting an extra mouth to feed. If husbands moved into their wives' households, they would be the ones bringing a dowry. And that goes back to the question of why property got passed down father-to-son rather than mother-to-daughter.

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That's kind of like wishing you were born male.

 

As a kid I very much wished I had been born a boy.  Not in a "I feel like I should be a boy" kind of way, but in a practical, tom-boy jealousy sense: boys never had to wear dresses, boys were encouraged to like science and math, at recess the boys ran and jumped and played while the girls gossiped and back stabbed, boy scouts climbed mountains while girl scouts painted friendship sticks, etc.

 

I saw no advantages to being a woman until I was 28 years old and had my first child.  At this point I would never give up bearing and nursing children and being a mom, but other than that I don't find being a woman to have many redeeming features.

 

Even today I have people make comments about how my dh and I stopped having kids once we got a boy. They will say this even in front of my girls. It drives me batty because it's so insulting. As if our one goal in having children was to have a son and that's all that mattered.

 

People comment every day about how DH and I must have tried until we had a girl.  I think that comments of that type in both direction are less about valuing one gender over the other and more about people thinking you are missing out if you don't have at least one of each.

 

Wendy

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This thread raises the question of why property was passed down through the male and not the female in the first place. Why a dowry in the first place? There are some traditions that do pass property and names through females, though they are a distinct minority. Some anthropologists and sociologists are studying why these groups are different from the vast majority of human groups.

 

I think it's very weird, given that women can be more sure of maternity, than men of paternity, that men would pass down the name and the property.

 

On the other hand maybe that's how women prove to men that it's really theirs? If women have their names and their property they kind of get everything. Maybe the name and the property is a consolation prize in the genetic game.

 

I wonder how much birth control and genetic testing will affect this, actually. To me that's a big deal. So much of law and family structure rules are based on the notion that a man deserves to know who his kids are, and to provide for them and only them if he so chooses, but that he can't really know... I wonder how being able to really know early on will change things.

 

The Y chromosome information can only be passed down from father to son, unlike mitochondrial DNA which women pass to their sons and their daughters--though only their daughters pass it to their grand-daughters. The Y can't be passed to a daughter. So for men, male to male lines are important. Even if they didn't know the scientific details, observations of generation after generation probably led people to value males as being able to inherit certain things. Who knows? But if that is the case, that is one biological reason men might defend their right to pass property through the male, because they are able to verify paternity more easily.

 

This is all unscientific speculation, however.

 

One of the things that strikes me is that when things are passed down through the women, it is often land - so related to agriculture.  The men tend to be providers to a great degree for their sisters kids as much as their own.  Social security tends to be the extended female line.

 

This makes a lot more sense when people are living in extended family groups, and seems less workable in small nuclear families.  In a small family situation you are almost always going to have groups of married adults where the women have a certain amount of dependence on the strength of the male and therefore on his connections.

 

Some of this may be just about landscape.  In closed landscapes or small groups that need to move a lot to have enough resources, it's less likely you will see those large extended families living together throughout the year.

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which is all kinds of bizzaro. How can a WOMAN value a male child over a female?? That's kind of like wishing you were born male.

 

Well she was the 2nd of 3 girls (the 4th kid was a boy) and her parents made no secret of the fact that she should have been a boy.

 

We are really lucky things are different in the US in that respect.  Growing up, there were times I wished I was a boy because they did get to do certain things girls couldn't do.  But at least my parents didn't hate the fact that I was a girl.

 

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As a kid I very much wished I had been born a boy.  Not in a "I feel like I should be a boy" kind of way, but in a practical, tom-boy jealousy sense: boys never had to wear dresses, boys were encouraged to like science and math, at recess the boys ran and jumped and played while the girls gossiped and back stabbed, boy scouts climbed mountains while girl scouts painted friendship sticks, etc.

 

I saw no advantages to being a woman until I was 28 years old and had my first child.  At this point I would never give up bearing and nursing children and being a mom, but other than that I don't find being a woman to have many redeeming features.

 

 

People comment every day about how DH and I must have tried until we had a girl.  I think that comments of that type in both direction are less about valuing one gender over the other and more about people thinking you are missing out if you don't have at least one of each.

 

Wendy

 

I love my experience of pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding, even when it's been hard, but I think in many ways my life would have been much easier if I had been born a boy.

 

We had a boy and then a girl. I remember someone telling me that we must be done, since we had one of each.

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As a kid I very much wished I had been born a boy.  Not in a "I feel like I should be a boy" kind of way, but in a practical, tom-boy jealousy sense: boys never had to wear dresses, boys were encouraged to like science and math, at recess the boys ran and jumped and played while the girls gossiped and back stabbed, boy scouts climbed mountains while girl scouts painted friendship sticks, etc.

 

I am so happy my mom was encouraging in this. I did get discouraged a bit in science and math but not until college where I met the old boys network.

 

I think that in this sense feminism is really important. I never had to wear a dress! And we all played pick up soccer at recess. Girl scouts were boring as hell but when I got to church youth group, we did all our hiking together.

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I haven't read all the replies so this may be redundant.

In India, it's dowry, it's not 'gaining' anything by having a daughter, it's archaic patriarchal things that a few people are now working on changing. I've watched documentaries on it and it's mind-boggling, the treatment of girls and women in general there.

 

Here in the US, I actually find - when it comes to 'what people want to have'/babies, girls are preferred. Girls are cooed at, catered to, and considered 'precious' in ways that boys are not.

When I was pregnant with Pink, I looked around me and saw the blatant favoritism of girls over boys and was honestly upset at the prospect of bringing a girl into such a culture.

That's not to say I hadn't seen it before that - as a preschool teacher well before having any children, I saw other teachers favor girls and spend extra time with them and give them special attention and privileges. I always found it extremely problematic.

 

Aish. Just thinking about it bothers me.

 

(That's not to say that the issues we encounter in the us are on par with or worse than girls being killed in India just because they are girls - please understand I'm not saying that AT ALL. I'm just speaking from personal experience here.)

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It makes no sense. Women grow children! That's pretty darn important! In my head, the birth of a girl would ensure that your family line continues. Why do most cultures view sons as better??

 

It was actually the opposite. The son would carry on the family name. This was considered important.

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which is all kinds of bizzaro. How can a WOMAN value a male child over a female?? That's kind of like wishing you were born male.

 

I really wanted a boy first. I didn't have any brothers and I have often had male friendships and not been able to relate to certain girly things. Then I really wanted a daughter (though any child would have been welcomed). I have a daughter now. I don't look at the kids as valued more/less. I just think that people have their reasons for thinking they will connect more with one gender or have an easier time. Of course, every individual is different.

 

I wouldn't say I wished I was born a male. But I do think many things about being a man are easier. I saw some posts about pregnancy and breastfeeding. Well, I didn't really enjoy pregnancy and while I do enjoy aspects of breastfeeding, it means your body is on call lol.

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This thread raises the question of why property was passed down through the male and not the female in the first place. Why a dowry in the first place? There are some traditions that do pass property and names through females, though they are a distinct minority. Some anthropologists and sociologists are studying why these groups are different from the vast majority of human groups.

 

I think it's very weird, given that women can be more sure of maternity, than men of paternity, that men would pass down the name and the property.

 

On the other hand maybe that's how women prove to men that it's really theirs? If women have their names and their property they kind of get everything. Maybe the name and the property is a consolation prize in the genetic game.

 

I wonder how much birth control and genetic testing will affect this, actually. To me that's a big deal. So much of law and family structure rules are based on the notion that a man deserves to know who his kids are, and to provide for them and only them if he so chooses, but that he can't really know... I wonder how being able to really know early on will change things.

 

The Y chromosome information can only be passed down from father to son, unlike mitochondrial DNA which women pass to their sons and their daughters--though only their daughters pass it to their grand-daughters. The Y can't be passed to a daughter. So for men, male to male lines are important. Even if they didn't know the scientific details, observations of generation after generation probably led people to value males as being able to inherit certain things. Who knows? But if that is the case, that is one biological reason men might defend their right to pass property through the male, because they are able to verify paternity more easily.

 

This is all unscientific speculation, however.

 

Interesting thought on paternity.   I know there has been a great many studies on False Paternity.   I could have the name wrong.   Where the daddy that thinks he's the daddy, but really isn't.  All the numbers were around 12% regardless of income, class, race.  

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Interesting thought on paternity.   I know there has been a great many studies on False Paternity.   I could have the name wrong.   Where the daddy that thinks he's the daddy, but really isn't.  All the numbers were around 12% regardless of income, class, race.  

 

I thought this was why traditional Judaism considers the person to be Jewish only if the mother is Jewish. Otherwise, prior to genetic testing, how would you know for sure?

 

I just finished the Great Courses History of the Ancient World and the instructor had an interesting theory. In hunter-gatherer societies, the tribes were matriarchal. Gathered food was a substantial portion of the diet, something women could do well even carrying babies. Mothers, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers established tribes to raise the children and held significant leadership roles. The sons were the ones who left to find new wives. As humanity began farming and tasks became increasingly specialized, women were less able to contribute to the diet, due to the hard physical work, and humans adopted a patriarchal system as a reflection of that.

 

In my circles, I don't think either sex is valued over the other. I think people would like both when they want two children. I do see a slight preference for girls among some women, mainly a "What do I do with a boy?" attitude. But I've never seen anyone disappointed in the ultimate gender of their child. I'm sure it exists, I just haven't heard it expressed aloud. 

Edited by ErinE
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I just read a snippet about a doctor in India who is trying to change the way people view daughters (not as wanted as sons) by not charging to deliver girls and having a party in the hospital at the birth of a girl.

 

It made me think--why are men always more highly valued? You see it in different times and different cultures that sons are valued over daughters. Are there any cultures that value daughters over sons??

 

Is it due to physical strength? Men can overpower women so they get to be the boss so sons are better?

 

It makes no sense. Women grow children! That's pretty darn important! In my head, the birth of a girl would ensure that your family line continues. Why do most cultures view sons as better??

 

different cultures, different traditions.

historically -

It stems from when it was an agrarian society.  boys worked farms, girls had babies and kept house.  son's worked the farm, girls had to be married off.  boys produced income - girls used income.  that led to parents of girls (in india, and more so in some castes than others, - but other countries as well.) to pay a dowery to get the groom's parents to take the girl off their hands.  the dowery in some sectors has only increased, and become prohibitive to girls marrying, despite a changing economy.  families simply can't afford it.  that's why even though it is illegal in india - you still see a significant number of s3x selective abortions.

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My grandmother was one of ten girls.  on a farm.  NO boys.  so, I did see the preferences in my maternal family for boys - because they didn't have them - they had girls.  even the sisters tended to have girls.  only three of the TEN sisters had boys. remember, these are FARMERS. 100 years ago farming was much more labor intensive than it is today.

 

 most of my social circle growing up - the message was "two children, one boy and one girl."  and that was it.

 

My social circle, both inside and outside of church, has been similar of no preference.   dh had no preference with our first (or any subsequent one) - even though his mother was convinced  he would want a boy.  (I know him better than she does.  her father is from the middle east, where there is a tendency towards preferences for boys.)

 

 

---

and about the end product of s3x selective abortion  . . . in china, there are now more young men than young women. the tables have turned. lower income men simply can't afford to find a girl who will marry them when she can marry a guy with some money.  girls can be choosier.   in some cases families have even resorted to kidnapping girls to marry their sons.

 

eta:  I know a grandfather who had lots of grandsons - NO granddaughters.  when he finally got one, he was thrilled.  I think most people want some of each.  (at least in western countries.)

Edited by gardenmom5
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Why did misogyny start, in other words ? 

 

You would have to assume that cultural misogyny, which leads people in many societies to prefer boys, arose from some kind of biological difference in terms of size, or in terms of childbearing.

 

Not all societies, just the vast majority, have adopted cultural misogyny on that hypothetical basis, however. It's an interesting one.

 

~

 

Part of the reason I divorced my in-laws was because of their preference for my boy. Before he was born, they were very insistent in their suggestion that I try again for a boy. After he was born, he was the one whose birthdays they always managed to attend - never the girls. 

 

It is pretty clear that my SIL is preferred to my dh, for producing two boys.

 

I'm not into that particular form of cultural baggage, that also focuses on what boys do, but on how girls look.

 

(My FIL once took my hand, kindly. With my own dad, that would signal he was about to offer a compliment on my work, or an offer of help, or as a sign that he cares for me. FIL took it, to suggest that I might consider getting regular manicures so his son had 'pretty hands to look at.')

 

color me confused.  what culture does your fil come from?

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(My FIL once took my hand, kindly. With my own dad, that would signal he was about to offer a compliment on my work, or an offer of help, or as a sign that he cares for me. FIL took it, to suggest that I might consider getting regular manicures so his son had 'pretty hands to look at.')

 

My MIL commented on various aspects of my looks to my husband before we were married.  She commented on how I held a glass, on how I scratched my nose, and how I dressed.

 

I wasn't lady like enough for her.  I'm sure that only made my husband like me more.  :lol:

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In India, isn't it because of dowry expenses?

 

Here in the U.S.,  I typically see more daughter preferences. But maybe that's because it's socially acceptable to express a desire for a daughter but not socially acceptable to talk about wanting a son.

 

 

But this is an anecdotal statement, yes?  Maybe something that you yourself have observed in your social circle? I think it would be very difficult to make a blanket statement like that about the entire United States. If you have seen any thing that would prove such a thing, I would love to see it.

 

I've personally heard people talk about wanting both, sons and daughters. I would very much hesitate to draw any large conclusions about that though, other than perhaps people often seem to want both. People with daughters get told to try for a son, and people with sons get asked if they were going to 'try for a girl'. Beyond that, I would hesitate to make any broader statement.

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Because the man's family will be getting an extra mouth to feed. If husbands moved into their wives' households, they would be the ones bringing a dowry. And that goes back to the question of why property got passed down father-to-son rather than mother-to-daughter.

 

When men do it, it's called a brideprice, not a dowry. And the purpose of the dowry (or brideprice) varies from culture to culture. In some places, either one of those is intended to support the young wife if she becomes a widow, not to pay for her keep with her new family or to enrich her birth family.

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Because the man's family will be getting an extra mouth to feed. If husbands moved into their wives' households, they would be the ones bringing a dowry. And that goes back to the question of why property got passed down father-to-son rather than mother-to-daughter.

She is a producer, though. It's not like women don't work, milk the cows and sheep, work in the fields, tilling, sowing, etc. they do a LOT. Plus making and feeding babies.

 

Why is that not valued? The tomatoes, the cows, the goats, making clothes: that is a producer.

 

If I get a man in my home that is also a mouth to feed, but he works so I don't ask him to pay cash up front.

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I wasn't lady like enough for her.  I'm sure that only made my husband like me more.  :lol:

 

Just the thought of anyone judging me on my lady-like "ness" makes me laugh.  They would be so disappointed - from shortly after birth on.

 

My grandmother on my dad's side has to be given credit for trying.  I recall my mom and dad pulling me aside one Christmas and begging me to please open the doll she gave me and play with it a little bit.  I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to play with a doll.  My parents knew this and bought me model horses and toys/games/books, but they never could convince my grandmother of it.

 

Hubby loves that he doesn't have to worry about girl things for me (jewelry, flowers, shoes, dressing up, etc).  We'd both rather be out on a hike.

 

I think his mom was disappointed, but that was more because I also never got the "loves a clean house and baking" gene.

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I know it's a very common thing around the world to place more value on boys, but among the families that I know, I find there's a trend where more people want girls. I feel like here teachers prefer teaching girls, parents talk about finding girls easier to raise, not as hyper, not as prone to LDs (not sure if that's fact or just perception) but I hear it a lot. And people like dressing up their princesses etc. The trend is definitely shifting where I live. 

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In India/Pakistan specifically, traditionally daughters go and live with their husband's family when they are married and they take care of in-laws as they age. So for every daughter you raise, you have done all the work/expense of feeding, clothing, medicine, etc., only to have the daughter go take care of someone else. If you have a son, he is expected to take care of you, as is his wife. If a parent is widowed, they will live in their son's household, as it is presumed he has more will to spend money that a son-in-law would.

 

These ideas are changing, though, as Western thoughts come into these countries.

 

I have to run, but I did want to say that many women in India/Pakistan had good jobs far before many women in the U.S. Because of the separation of genders for everything, even public schools through university, women have had their own lawyers, doctors, teachers, university professors, etc for a long time, far before women were doing many of these things here. In the mid-century, many women who came to the U.S. from India and Pakistan didn't go to doctors or dentists until the 1970s or 1980s if they could help it, because they had never visited a male in that role and they found the entire thing very off-putting.

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My MIL commented on various aspects of my looks to my husband before we were married.  She commented on how I held a glass, on how I scratched my nose, and how I dressed.

 

I wasn't lady like enough for her.  I'm sure that only made my husband like me more.  :lol:

 

my mother commented on how homely dh was . . . .wondering why I'd be interested in  a guy who as so plain .. . (maybe 'cause  he treated me well?)

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Aren't dowrys to provide for the woman even if the husband dies or abandons her?  Like an insurance policy? That would put value, albeit not one I'm comfortable with.

 

 

As others have said..... men could pass on the family name, inherit (daughters could not always in some cultures), work, etc.

 

Daughters were good for alliances, but you still needed men.  Also in the case of daughters, they would cost you money for a dowry (although in Islam, a woman is given the dowry.)

 

In theory in Islam, daughters should be more valued as it is said if you raise daughters well, you are guaranteed an entry into heaven.  One of the things about Prophet Muhammad is that he only had surviving daughters....and he doted on them.  His one son died either in child birth or shortly after.  He banned female infanticide. 

 

 

I never knew that about Islam.  Isn't there a prayer in Islam that men pray thanking Allah that they were not born a woman?

 

 

 

 

The trend in the states definitely promotes females.  Our public school system is a much better fit for the way girls learn and many books, movies, and such have female protagonists.  

 

We (as a culture) do seem to tire of girls and women much quicker than men, imo.  A male actor is "allowed" to portray a variety of characters for years; women not so much.  Unless they want to show their b00ks or change their image drastically, they have a much shorter life span with popular culture.  

 

There are fewer women CEO's than men.  While is possible less women desire those positions, it is much more likely they are taken less seriously in the boardroom.

Edited by Excelsior! Academy
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But this is an anecdotal statement, yes? Maybe something that you yourself have observed in your social circle? I think it would be very difficult to make a blanket statement like that about the entire United States. If you have seen any thing that would prove such a thing, I would love to see it.

 

I've personally heard people talk about wanting both, sons and daughters. I would very much hesitate to draw any large conclusions about that though, other than perhaps people often seem to want both. People with daughters get told to try for a son, and people with sons get asked if they were going to 'try for a girl'. Beyond that, I would hesitate to make any broader statement.

I'd love to see data on this too. Anecdotally, as the mother of three boys, I hear very few positive comments from strangers. Most are either incredulous that I have three boys or offer me their sympathies. In front of my children. Even when they are behaving perfectly. It's rather sad. Now, this might reflect a societal dislike of more than two children rather than a dislike of boys. I couldn't say.

 

I wanted both boys and girls. I'm a bit sad that I'll never have a daughter, but my boys make for an amazing family and I am so thankful!

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I disagree that sons are more highly valued, at least in American culture (I agree this is not true elsewhere).  Daughters are more expensive to maintain, though, and that probably determines their lower value in less-wealthy countries (for all the reasons Bluegoat cited). 

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I just read a snippet about a doctor in India who is trying to change the way people view daughters (not as wanted as sons) by not charging to deliver girls and having a party in the hospital at the birth of a girl.

 

It made me think--why are men always more highly valued? You see it in different times and different cultures that sons are valued over daughters. Are there any cultures that value daughters over sons??

 

Is it due to physical strength? Men can overpower women so they get to be the boss so sons are better?

 

It makes no sense. Women grow children! That's pretty darn important! In my head, the birth of a girl would ensure that your family line continues. Why do most cultures view sons as better??

I have no idea but I have a new hobby. Drawing portraits from photos in the paper. And even in our very progressive society every single photo on the first fifteen pages of the paper so far have been male other than one very small pic of a woman who only featured because she was murdered.

 

Often feels like nothing ever really changes.

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Aren't dowrys to provide for the woman even if the husband dies or abandons her?  Like an insurance policy? That would put value, albeit not one I'm comfortable with.

 

Yes...not abandons here, but in case of divorce which is allowed in Islam and was actually more common centuries ago.  It's also meant to be the bride's own money....not her family's....although in practice, this isn't always the case. 

 

 

 

 

I never knew that about Islam.  Isn't there a prayer in Islam that men pray thanking Allah that they were not born a woman?

 

I do not know of one in Islam, but I do remember one from Judaism.  "Few Jewish religious texts have provoked as much indignation and discomfort as the brief passage that is recited by traditional Jewish men at the beginning of the daily morning prayers: “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, ruler of the universe who has not created me a woman.†For many, it expresses a quintessential misogyny that lies at the core of our patriarchal religion."  http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/who-has-not-made-me-a-woman/

There are some troubling ahadith (sayings) which talk about a majority of the inhabitants of hell being made up of ungrateful women, etc.  

 

 

 

The trend in the states definitely promotes females.  Our public school system is a much better fit for the way girls learn and many books, movies, and such have female protagonists.  

 

We (as a culture) do seem to tire of girls and women much quicker than men, imo.  A male actor is "allowed" to portray a variety of characters for years; women not so much.  Unless they want to show their b00ks or change their image drastically, they have a much shorter life span with popular culture.  

 

There are fewer women CEO's than men.  While is possible less women desire those positions, it is much more likely they are taken less seriously in the boardroom.

MBA here...one thing I've read (and that I've seen true among my friends)...is that men are more likely to "fake it until they make it."  They're not afraid to take on roles which may be above them....or go after them.  Women are more likely to dismiss their own qualifications/experience. It's also simple a trickle up issue....less women in middle management... means less women in upper management.  Although companies with more women on the board outperform those with less representation.   http://www.catalyst.org/media/companies-more-women-board-directors-experience-higher-financial-performance-according-latest

 

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I know it's a very common thing around the world to place more value on boys, but among the families that I know, I find there's a trend where more people want girls. I feel like here teachers prefer teaching girls, parents talk about finding girls easier to raise, not as hyper, not as prone to LDs (not sure if that's fact or just perception) but I hear it a lot. And people like dressing up their princesses etc. The trend is definitely shifting where I live. 

 

 

I was just reading an article about how male fetuses/baby-boys need 3 - 4 TIMES as many essental fatty acids as girls for proper brain development.  it directly corrosponds to the development of the corpus callosum. (which normally develops faster in girls than boys.)    . . . what is that you ask?  it is the conduit that enables communication between the left and right hemisphere's of the brain.  when it is not working fully - the lags will often display as behaviors linked to adhd, and hfasd and learning disabilities in reading and writing, and even social skills. . . . there is therapy that can help it.  one of the very first things dudeling's ND put him on was 1280mg of high quality fish oil (re: concentrated essential fatty acids.)

 

guess what types of things we're advised to NOT eat?  things containing those same essential fatty acids. (that is finally starting to change.)

 

and yes - in children's depts. more money is spent on girl clothes than boy clothes. part of that I think is what is available.  I remember looking with my older boys when they were babies - there were LOTS of choices for girls, but very few for boys.  I think the designers enjoy girls clothes more too.

Edited by gardenmom5
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MBA here...one thing I've read (and that I've seen true among my friends)...is that men are more likely to "fake it until they make it."  They're not afraid to take on roles which may be above them....or go after them.  Women are more likely to dismiss their own qualifications/experience. It's also simple a trickle up issue....less women in middle management... means less women in upper management.  Although companies with more women on the board outperform those with less representation.   http://www.catalyst....ccording-latest

makes me think of the number of women who will ignore their mom-gut/red-flags because the don't want to be perceived as rude.

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Just wanted to warn against the overgeneralization of "Indians don't want daughters."  While it is very true in certain parts of India (as demonstrated by horribly skewed birth rates in certain regions) it is by no means something that exists as a rule for the entire sub-continent.

 

Too many different cultures, sub-groups, etc. for there to be one standard rule.  My ILs for example, wanted girl grandchildren first.  They treat both my children equally.  They are traditional, middle-class Indians.  But with a preference for girls to be born.

 

The dowry issue is also complicated.  Traditionally, girls couldn't inherit from their birth families after they married.  Dowry was a way to pass on a percentage of their inheritance to them at the time of marriage.

 

Unfortunately, it has morphed and taken on many uglier sides.  (BTW, dowry is illegal in India and has been for a long time.  It still is prevalent however.)

 

In poorer families, one primary reason to prefer a son to a daughter is the sheer cost of a marriage of a daughter that is to be born entirely by her family.  Families of sons act like they won the lottery when it is time for their son to be married - and they make sky high demands.  It is tragic to see what lengths poor families go to when trying to get their daughter married into a "good" family.

 

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