This is of course not the opinion of the writer.Man and Woman

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 outnumber 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.

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 than 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 another. Meaning that if you’re part of one “social circle” you’re not part of another “social circle“.

The second dimension which influences this behaviour is Masculinity.

Both India & China are so-called Masculine societies (56 & 66). Aspects of Masculinity are 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 taking 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 bloodline 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!

Finally

I want to re-emphasize 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.

If you want to read more on how to do business in China and India, read these articles.

Chris is passionate about Cultural Differences. He has been helping organizations save time and money when they work Internationally for the last 20+ years. While doing this he had the fortunate opportunity to hold lectures, workshops, and consulting projects on this subject World Wide. It has made him understand his own culture much better and appreciate the differences around the world.
His education is in Organisational Psychology and he has lived in the USA, the Netherlands, and currently lives in Belgium.

Chris Smit
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