Why is there a preference for a son over a daughter in India? What are the best responses to someone feeling sympathy for the birth of your daughter?
Balaji Viswanathan, Indian by Birth. Indian by Thought.
In India, almost all classes seem to prefer male child over female child. I find this crazy [my wife and I want a girl child]. This tragic choice is due to the following factors:
1.Once they get married the female goes to an another family. Thus, the parents of females get 0, while the parents of males get 2. Indians are stuck between an ancient tribal system where everyone lived together and the modern system where families are nuclear. Both these are better for women than India's system of the bride moving to the in-laws house.
2.Females are not often groomed to take over the family business as they are expected to be distracted with raising children. Since the females are not helped to become business leaders [unlike sons who receive unfair advantage], businessmen often prefer sons. It is sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
3.Families with ancestral property think the female children as leading to division of property, while the males stay in the property and thus keeping the ancestral treasures within the family. In fact, dowry probably evolved to compensate the female for giving up her share of the family property to her brothers.
India is a curious case of a healthy economy where women's participation is reducing rather than increasing. As India economy grows, female participation in work force declines: ILO - While it is easier to blame poverty, caste blah blah blah, those factors are not increasing, but decreasing, while women's participation is also decreasing. We should look for deeper causes.
One way to break this cycle is to move to a sort of tribal like community, where the whole family - both of the bride and groom - live close in an apartment community. This way the female is not leaving home, nor breaking the property. And the young mothers would have enough people to care of her children, while she moves up in career or business or education.
Aakriti Gupta, lives in India
Mix Indian culture with economics, and you have the following:
Boys are an investment while girls are a liability.
1.It is expected of boys to live with his parents and care for them when they get old. It is expected of girls to do the same for her husband’s parents & not her own.
2.Marrying off a girl child is expensive affair, as a parent you are on the giving end. Marrying a boy child traditionally involves you to be on the receiving end of both goods and services.
3.The giving and taking equation doesn’t end on the wedding day. Girl’s families are traditionally expected to give gifts/money on every occasion and festival post their daughter’s wedding.
4.Investing in a boy’s education makes sense since you can reap the benefits later on. Investing in a girl’s education has nothing in it for you. Taking monetary help from daughters is looked down upon.
The economics here is pretty straight forward. It’s the culture that’s to be blamed IMHO. The system as it stands today rewards the birth of a son, while penalizing the birth of a daughter. Solutions have to be more egalitarian like Wedding expense should be shared strictly in half by both parties & the couple should move out of both their respective homes and start afresh where both set of parents have an option to come and stay with their kids & be a part of their lives etc.
Charanjeet Singh, Seeking Wisdom
This is true that india society prefer a son over a daughter. There are two main reason for this one is "Khaandaan ka chirag". People believes that their clan will only continue if & if only they have a son. Having no son means end of clan. Second reason , people expected that in old age their son will take care of them. And then more & more reasons get added to the list like dowry etc.
Now one interesting thing to share, I am born to a family where there is no such preference exist. Also in our clan the first child born is always a Girl & their birth is ' always celebrated as we celebrate birth of a son. My parents's first baby was my sister.
My father has two brothers say Uncle1 & Uncle2. Uncle1 have their first baby was a son but then God simultaneously showered his blessing in the form of daughter. Uncle1 had twins one son & one daughter.
The came the turn of Uncle2. His first baby was also a daughter. We had celebrated it to the fullest.
Then my sister got married and her first & only baby was a daughter. My lovely Hasrhu when she says" Maama g aap muje sabse ache lagte ho" it is one of the proud moment of my life.
Then came my turn I also got married & Will you believe peoples my first & only baby was a daughter. So happy & thankful to God I was, when he gave his blessings to me in the form of my daughter.
后来我姐姐结婚了，她的第一个也是唯一的孩子是个女儿。当我可爱的Hasrhu说“Maama g aap muje sabse ache lagte ho”时，那是我一生中最骄傲的时刻之一。
The notion is true in most parts of India. These could be possible reasons which I have found from my personal experience dealing with people who wanted a boy over a girl.
1.One of my previous maid servants had a son. She and her 2 daughters protected him like crazy and always cared for him. The extra care that they gave him was extremely prominent. On one occasion my mom actually asked one of the girls and she said that it was because he would be earning in the future. He was the only one sent to school among the 3 kids. Unfortunately the kid died and by what our maid was saying while crying, it was pretty imminent that she would have cried less if it was one of her daughters. Never did it strike them that one of the daughters might have studied hard and earned as much. Sad, hard truth.
2.Another 2 daughter 1 son combination, but this time they were extremely rich jewelers. They protected and spoiled their only son, probably over the fact that he was to take over the family business. One need not have an expert eye to notice the partiality in the parents' treatment of the kids based on their gender. Never did it strike them that their eldest daughter who is one of the smartest and strongest girls that I have seen could easily head the business and do a much better job than their brat son. Sad, unfortunate truth.
Shreenivas, Follower of Sanatana Dharma, studying advaita vedanta.
India is a deep rooted male dominant society. Apart from few examples here and there , very few women stood equal to men. We don't need to do anything as of now, things are happening on it's own, infact happening too fast and too much. Below few things which will be in her favor when she grows up-
1.She gets man who earns salary more than her. Other way around is very rare. So, financially she will be quite stable. Even if both earn equally, it unwritten rule that men mostly pay all the bills, her salary is just kept in bank account to be used only when required.
2.Though men want his wife to be working in metro cities like Mumbai, Bangalore to unburden huge loans, but she has a soft corner and can quit job at her will. Many occasions, she quits job permanently once baby is born.
3.For a married working women, if office stress is unbearable , she has comfort of quitting job at any moment as husband no matter what has to earn money and support the family. No matter what stress he goes through, he will still be alive and working.
4.Nowadays, there is a rule in metros if woman is working. 'if-i-go-to-work-you-also-do-dishwash-' . That rule continue even after women quits her job.
5.She can wear pink, yellow , voilet, green, indigo or any possible available colored clothes, men’s clothing revolves around black, blue and white.
6.If a girl is mediocre in studies, parent are not much bothered especially if girl is fair and good looking. She can get away with fancy courses like interior decoration, hotel management etc but still can get a guy from IIM ,IIT . In reverse case, parents are too much worried,boy has to sweat his blood to finish his engineering or society will finish him.
I don’t know if you live in India or not but now in the 21st century India has changed a lot both in a good and a bad way.
There is a history of India oppressing the woman. Woman in India was not allowed to express herself.Moreover situation became terrible when she would marry. Cause then she would be beaten for any mishappening in the family even though she was not responsible for it.Domestic violence against women was a very common thing.This was a terrible situation for woman in India.
But all of this stopped when people started demanding for women rights.India changed for the good and now a women gets equal rights as men.And it must happen. I think every woman and man have equal rights. No body should consider themselves inferior or superior.
But the way all women rights campaign happened created a terrible situation for men. People who campaigned for women right were not only demanding equal rights for women but demanded for a women dominated society with lesser rights for men.
They started saying that all men are bad, all sons are bad, all husbands are bad and even all fathers are bad.Therefore they must have lesser rights.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/48608.html 译者：Joyceliu
Anti dowry law is being misused to harass and extort husbands,leading to the high suicide rate among married men in India, almost twice that of women.Domestic violence against men have increased a lot. All people even religious heads started a kind of campaign that if they said anything against the men community they would be considered advocating for women’s rights.
Even after doing a lot for their parents (unlike the western countries where men tend to live away from their parents) they are ridiculed for not doing enough.
So its a terrible situation for men in India It's like society is taking a revenge for the past misdeeds done by the then men.
Drishti Singh, studies MBBS at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Wardha (2024)
So this is a real incident that happened a few years ago.
One of the couples in my neighbourhood was blessed with a girl child. She happened to be thier second daughter and their first daughter was already 6 years old.
The couple were really happy and enthusiastically preparing for a party to welcome their new born princess.
Among the many people who called up to congratulate them was a doctor.The things that he said were completely unwelcoming and shocking coming from such an educated person.
This is what he said”I was calling you to congratulateyou for the newly born child but now that i know that it is a girl child i rather sympathise with you for the loss.God knows how will you live with the burden of having two daughters”!!!
But the proud father who never considered it a burden shut his mouth well by saying that “I was about to invite you to our party welcoming our new child but i only want to see smiling faces there and not sympathising ones,so im sorry you won’t be able to make it to our guest list.Good bye”.
Tit for tat. I think this could be the best response someone could give these people who are instrumental in circulating such cheap thoughts around.
I being a girl have faced many situation where we are made to feel inferior than the boys and i personally feel that until and unless each one of us gain wisdom we would never be able to talk about equality.
Nikita Kataria, Software Associate at JPMorgan Chase (2017-present)
Unfortunately even at this age, India treats a baby boy with much higher preference than a baby girl.
1.Baby Girl will grow up to marry another boy. Baby boy will take care of us in our old age and Baby boy can take the family name forward.
2.Baby Boy will marry and will bring a beautiful bride with a good amount of dowry and the family will live happily ever after. If you are from the family of baby girl, you will have to spend in giving the dowry instead of at receiving end.