Friday, August 7, 2009

Huge costs of raising sons force Chinese parents to pray for daughters

From the Taiwan Sun, dateline Shanghai. a story with a promising premise, that on closer reading has "ick" written all over it:

Turning their backs on the age old tradition, expectant Chinese parents have begun to hope for a daughter rather than a son, considering the huge costs involved in raising a boy.

China's one-child policy has produced a calamitous glut of men. The country has 32 million more young men than women, a situation that is already leading to an increase in prostitution and sex crimes.

However, in the country's enormous cities, the huge cost of raising a son has meant that for many families, daughters now make more economic sense. In Shanghai,
government researchers questioned almost 3,500 prospective parents. Of those,
more than 12 per cent said they were hoping for a boy, while more than 15 per
cent wanted a girl, the Telegraph reports.

In most marriages, it is the son's family, which is required to buy a house for the couple - a ruinous expense in many cities. "I want my child to be a girl. Although I prefer boys, there are endless things to worry about, such as finding him a good school, helping him get a good job, and buying a house and a car for him. It's just too much trouble," said Yang Min, 32, an expectant mother.

Li Qian, a 27-year-old secretary in a private bank, said the economic crisis had left parents with sons having to provide for two families, their own and their children's. "Many would-be parents want to have daughters to reduce their financial burden. Girls can marry rich husbands," she said.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! Boys are too much trouble because you have to . . . take care of them!! As opposed to girls, I guess!?!? clf

malinda said...

And you don't have to take care of girls! They don't need education, good schools, a house and car -- they can just marry a rich man! Someone in China is watching too much "Leave it to Beaver."

Wendy said...

The sad thing is with this story, as many in the US, is that it is not true of all people. I see it as another way to stereotype the Chinese and their preference over boys/girls etc.
Yes, these trends do exist. Yes, there is a long standing history of boy preference and maybe now a new trend due to financial issues, but the fact is it is not universal. I am so tired of having to educate uninformed people about blurbs they have heard on the news or in a paper. I see it as another blurb that some idiot in a doctor's office will start "educating" me about in regards to my daughter. Enough.

Ann BF said...

I agree with Wendy..and I would emphasize a reminder that the standards of journalism inside China need to be taken with some healthy skepticism..sounds more like a deliberate attempt to sway the public the way planning officials want, you know?