So, let me be more specific and approach this title from a cultural perspective
In certain countries people prefer to have a son over a daughter. In two of these countries, India & China, the men out-number the women by 12 to 15 percent. These figures come from the magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors are, Therese Hesketh (University College, London) and Zhu Wei Xing (Zhejiang University China).
Selective abortion and neglect of young girls have led to these figures, according to the above mentioned study.
However, this is nothing new. Throughout the centuries boys have always been preferred over girls.
In This Article
From a Cultural perspective, why is this?
When a daughter is to be married, the parents of the bride have to come up with the dowry, and “pay” for the wedding ceremonies. This can end up being a costly affair. Specifically if the daughter marries in a social class higher then her own (and of her parents, of course).
This is a combination of the Collective culture in both India & China (respectively the scores on the dimension Individualism are 48 & 20).
Collectivism brings with it “in-groups” and “out-groups“. If you´re part of one social circle, you cannot be part of an other. Meaning that if you’re part of one “social circle” you’re not part of an other “social circle“.
The second dimension which influences this behaviour is Masculinity.
Both India & China are so called Masculine societies (56 & 66). Aspects of Masculinity is the limited role overlap between sexes in society.
A man works and earns money (for the whole family, so also the parents), and a woman… well, a woman should be at home, doing the household and raising babies.
From that perspective, women are less of a “source of income“. And taken the first reason in mind, they can even be a source of cost.
The third explanation
Is the fact that (in traditional societies more so) only men can carry the blood line further. Women cannot. In addition, inheritances usually go from father to son.
In both India and China pre-birth sex determination is prohibited. The problem with these laws is that they are there, but no one inspects them.
And if you are “caught” you pull the strings of your “network” and can likely get away with it. Yet another example of Collectivism. Relationships (with the one who controls you) are more important than the law itself!
I want to re-emphasise that I by no means think that women are any less than men.
Different cultures deal with things differently. That does not make them better or worse. It just makes them different.