Social Question

tinyfaery's avatar

In America, in general, are male offspring still the preference?

Asked by tinyfaery (41408points) August 23rd, 2009

In movies and TV shows it still seems as if the desire for male offspring is still the preference, especially for men. (In general, I think the media represents and creates American norms.) I understand the history and purpose of patriarchal lineage, but most of the underlying purposes no longer apply; the age of DNA and the push for equal rights has changed the world.

So, if there is still a preference, why? Like most American norms, is it just tradition and resistance to change? Or is there some sort of valid reason? And by valid I mean something that I will find valid, after all, it is my question.

Also, people from other countries, I’d like to hear your opinion. I only specified America because that’s where I live.

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35 Answers

casheroo's avatar

I notice this a lot in tv, and just entertainment in general…everyone always wants to “carry on the name” Which I personally think is ridiculous.
But, I am a member of a large parenting community, and just from general observation there are much more people “thinking pink” as they call it.
I don’t know why there’d be a preference. I know I felt when I was pregnant with my first that having a boy first might be…easier boy, was I wrong just from people saying they are easier to raise. I’m still waiting.
I feel this is something that will be resistant to change, because people tend to feel “complete” when they have one of each or whatever. It’s hard for me to put myself in those shoes, since the sex of the baby doesn’t matter to me. And probably harder for someone who never wants children.

rrmkdynuupye's avatar

I’ve never seen a male preference here. There are a lot of guys who want little girls. Even more like me who don’t particularly care. I suppose i do want a boy but I’m not particularly concerned either way even if it is the end of my family branch. to be honest I want both but if the times comes and whatever then I’ll take it.

I suppose the legacy concern if what you’re talking about. and at this point I’d consider that overall a very very minor preference. It’s not like in the far east where people don’t want girls at all.

Now there is a preference for kids or rather kid potential. that I see. lotta guys don’t want to get vasectomy procedures or marry a girl who can’t have kids. that is pretty prevalent. I really really can’t (if i’m being honest) say I’m completely free of that myself.

Vincentt's avatar

So what about the father who wants to play football (or, say, baseball, for you Americans) with his son?

hug_of_war's avatar

I’d prefer a girl, they don’t pee on you.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think it is a general preference.

rrmkdynuupye's avatar

every father has dreams for playing with his kids whether it’s sports with his son or going to a father daughter dance with his daughter. This is where tomboys come from ya know. (j/k) but for real if the father really really wants to play sports with his kid and he wants that kid to be a son then he’s one of the guys who has a preference. the point is that not all guys have that preference and of the ones that do not all of them are locked into it. I don’t know many people with kids but I can speak about one guy his first kid was a girl and he was hoping for a boy. We actually had this conversation and he told me it wasn’t that big of a deal. He wanted two kids and if the next one was a girl so be it if not then whoopie. Again the stressor here was a number preference over a gender preference.

casheroo's avatar

You can play ball with a daughter. I don’t see why that’d even be a hang up.

This question comes at a time where I’m constantly being asked “Oh!! I bet you want a girl, right???” Uh, no. I want a healthy baby. That’s all I want.

le_inferno's avatar

I don’t think so. Personally, though, I tend to find little boys 10x more adorable than girls. I guess it’s just the knowledge that one day they will grow up to be stoic and manly and sex-hungry… and they won’t ever have that squeaky cute voice again :( Their innocence is just so fleeting and d’awwwwwww.

WiseOldUnicorn's avatar

In my experience, people tend to prefer their own gender; women want daughters, and men want sons (although I also know quite a few guys that want a daughter). I think people tend to feel that they’ll be able to better relate to (and hence, do a better job of raising) their own gender. And the daughter preference, I think is just because most people tend to view little girls as being cuter than little boys.

eponymoushipster's avatar

i want child to be strong like bull.

filmfann's avatar

When my first was born, I really wanted a son. She was not.
When my wife became pregnant again, I would occasionally go over and put my hand on her stomache, and vibrate it, saying “Boy!”
When she went into labor, I thought about how much fun my daughter was, and thought to myself how great it would be to have another daughter. Baby born:10+10+1. Son!
That was it for us. Had it been another girl, I would have still finished producing. I am thrilled to have one of each.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Families on my mother and father’s sides have been Americans since the 1800’s, pioneer people of the founding west and they have always wanted boys more even though the women have had a lot of independence and power in the families.

westy81585's avatar

I’ve never seen a trend in America as a whole for boys or girls. Some individual parents want one or the other, but I’ve never seen something like in China, where boys are favored.

phoenyx's avatar

I have a girl and a boy… I win?

I actually feel more pressure from having a son than a daughter. I feel like I should be the primary role model for my son and I’m more responsible for how he turns out.

tramnineteen's avatar

I think you would have to do a really big poll to find this out. It will very between the mother and father, between personalities, and people will change their mind over time.

cyndyh's avatar

I think every parent I know really wanted healthy kids first. Then if they already had one gender there may have been a slight preference for the other with the second child. But even for the second child that’s not always the case. I think the days of “carrying on the family name” and wanting to only play catch with sons is long gone.

gailcalled's avatar

@tug of war: Baby girls pee on you; they poop on you, they have projectile vomiting also. Who cares?

rrmkdynuupye's avatar

@hug_of_war it’s ok. i got the joke and i still think it’s funny.

gailcalled's avatar

I will concede that baby boys pee on you in a more dramatic fashion.

See image of “Le Mannequin PIs” in Brussels.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I don’t think there is a preference for male children (maybe in certain specific communities) overall but people do think certain things like it’s easier to raise boys or it’s harder to raise boys (i’ve heard both) and girls are this way or that way and it’s all bull, imo…never mattered to me, still doesn’t matter to me two boys later…when we adopt or have more kids, i’m not necessarily looking for a girl to adopt or birth…just doesn’t matter…

YARNLADY's avatar

As a mother of two sons and 5 grandsons, I have to say I’m prejudiced.

Vincentt's avatar

@phoenyx Isn’t that also the whole charm of being a parent? (Genuine question, not rhetorical.)

wundayatta's avatar

According to the gallup survey on gender preference, men prefer boys and women prefer girls—slightly.

JLeslie's avatar

I think people before they have kids probably answer differently than after they have children. I have a few girlfriends who wound up with all boys and now can’t imagine being anything but a boy mom. I have observed that many people want one of each, but I think for the children having two of the same (if you are only going to have two) is better. I think the children are more likely to play together and have things in common.

mikeblack's avatar


tinyfaery's avatar

Woh. No need to shout.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mikeblack why does the fact that you own a garage matter?

gailcalled's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir:I know a lot of guys, and I do not own a garage.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gailcalled I am assuming this is because you are not a real man, :)~

gailcalled's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir:Now that I have bothered to check, drat. You are right.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@gailcalled it’s okay…if you hang around the garage long enough…maybe it’ll rub off

cyndyh's avatar

Isn’t the frizzer in the garage?

Ron_C's avatar

I had two girls and am completely satisfied. I don’t see the difference having boys or girls. The only problem I had is that all the girls in the house would occasionally gang up on me, even the dog and cat were female.

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