For so long I was lead to believe that all expectant Chinese couples prefer boys. Maybe in many small to mid-sized cities, that's still very much the case. Here in the first-tier city of Guangzhou however, I've noticed a change of attitude from many expectant parents in my work and social life. With the abolition of the one-child policy, there's also a noticeable social shift into the preferred family structure taking place.
Every time I've asked expectant parents what they prefer, a son or daughter, every single one has answered 'daughter' without hesitation (they all eventually ended up with sons, by the way). I have two sons myself and upon learning this, many have asked me simply, 'will you try for a daughter'? Seriously, why? I already have two beautiful, healthy and loveable boys, in my unbiased opinion. Why should I feel like I'm missing out on the complete set? Some congratulate me on having two boys but those comments are few and far between.
For economic reasons, having a son seems to have lost some of its appeal. I was reading a report in the China Daily just yesterday about the economic cost not just of raising a son to adulthood, but the cost of housing and the marriage dowry once they're grown-up. As an absolute minimum, a man in China (apparently) needs to own a house, car and ideally, have enough for a diamond ring before he can think about getting married - and that's not even counting the cost of the dowry. In some cases (according to the report) families have paid up to 2 million for their dowry and other costs.
I guess I was a bit lucky in that I didn't need 2 million to get married - actually, I didn't even need 200,000 so it really comes down to the couple and their expectations. Still, I can see why having a daughter may make some parents happy, as she can potentially provide financial relief rather than heartache. Other reasons have been given too: They're easier to raise, more even-tempered, will stay closer to their families and will be better at looking after their parents when they're older.
For my boys, I expect/hope that they'll both be with me back in Australia when they're grown up and don't need to worry about the financial burden of marriage. Some might say that China can be a very cheap place to live, and that's true - if you're single. When you raise a family here, it can be very expensive. Money is always tight and when they're older, I prefer they use that extra money to provide a good life for their own families.
Tags:General Relationships Expat Rants & Advice Lifestyle
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agree but not totally, now they have option to have both because of two child policy. I asked many Chinese girls , they wish to have both son, and daughter. I am going to be married with my Chinese girlfriend in one and half year, I wish to have a daughter and son.
Feb 04, 2016 22:34 Report Abuse
Nowadays with this actively developing society,most of children don t have anymore time to care about old people.Most of them are left,and worst "forgotten"at this old people place.And sons are more busy with success in work and his own family.In contrary,daughters are more present,may be it s because of their feminine nature,like taking care and more understanding.
Jan 05, 2016 11:03 Report Abuse