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Ridiculous cultural preferences for a baby boy or a baby girl

A small rant today.

I don’t believe in preferring one gender over another, but many cultures do this, and it’s mainly the baby girls that get killed, aborted, abandoned and unloved as a result.

Having a baby boy or a girl is 50/50 chance, and when parents start trying to choose to ONLY have boys, you end up with the problem that I believe they are facing in China and India — that there are too many boys and not enough girls, which means they have to fight as they get older, to find a wife to start a family with.


(Pretty sure that’s a baby boy under that butcher’s table, although all in pink, I could be wrong.)

I also read somewhere that polygamy polyandry* is starting to become a thing now in India where the brothers will essentially take one woman as their wife, and share her because there simply aren’t enough women to go around, to to speak.

Yep. The kids become cousins who are also step-brothers or step-sisters.

This is why many doctors in those countries refuse to tell the parents if they see a boy or a girl, because they are afraid the parents will abort a perfectly healthy child if it’s a girl.

My main beef with families and parents who try to choose the gender, is that they’ll not only believe all kinds of crap, but they’ll believe the WRONG crap.

*Thanks Adina!


My aunt had a baby girl as her firstborn, and when she was pregnant with her second, she spent a boatload of money on people who claimed to be able to see if she had a boy or a girl inside of her.

(This was way back when, before ultrasounds even existed. A baby’s gender was a surprise.)

She prayed every day, paid lots of money, went through (stupid) religious rituals, all while being soothed by this soothsayer that she DEFINITELY had a boy inside of her.

When my poor cousin was born, my aunt had a fit.


She lost it.

What’s worse is that her husband’s family, who had also been primed and expecting to see a baby boy as her second child, started throwing temper tantrums and having fits that it ended up being a girl.

Can you believe that?

To my aunt’s credit, she “cut off” that side of her family because they would be so angry that she didn’t give birth to a boy, and never spoke to them again, even though she was the one who was probably the most disappointed, alongside her husband.

My cousin probably grew up with these emotional scars to some extent, but luckily, they love her very much, which I am sure, helped.


… is that it isn’t even really the woman that determines whether the baby is a boy or a girl. It isn’t her “fault”, so to speak.


He’s the one with his sperm that determines whether the baby turns out to be a boy or a girl in the 11th week!

All I can think about throughout all of this, is that in those cultures where they actually beat the woman for having given birth to a girl instead of a boy, is that they should be giving the flogging to her husband instead.

Blame the man, not the woman, for having “given” a boy to her to grow inside. It isn’t the woman’s “fault” at all, seeing as she’s just really the one who spent 9 months feeling ill, and incubating the child.

Update: I am being facetious saying the above. 

Yes I understand that not any guy has any control over what happens either, but there are actual husbands out there who beat their wives for not having given them a son.

Can we at least acknowledge the irony in doing so?

Why are we still perpetuating this ridiculous notion in today’s modern society and age (especially in North America), if we were to state a clear preference for a boy or a girl early on?

The child would just feel like they already came out of the gate at a disadvantage and are not as loved as if they had different body parts.

Anyway, this ridiculous practice of whether parents should prefer a boy or a girl has been on my mind on and off, because people kept asking if I want a boy or a girl, and I couldn’t care less.

I wanted a healthy baby.


  • Tania

    It’s due to the population control in China right? If you are limited to only one child and it is important culturally to have a boy, it creates unintended effects (Freakonomics). In Hawaii, my parent’s generation saw the property being given to the sons and sons are considered to be the head of the family in the next generation but I see that changing now. I don’t believe most local Chinese families automatically leave everything in the son’s care anymore. Any baby is a blessing 🙂

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I think it’s due to population control in China, but doesn’t account for the same attitude popping up in other countries in Asia in particular.

  • spender2saver

    In India, the practice of marrying a woman to all brothers of one family is not because of lack of women but tradition which is followed for hundreds of years. The practice is prevalent in a very small tribal area.
    As for sex determination by doctors, it is punishable by Indian law and all hospitals have big posters reminding of the fact. Yes during the 70s and 80s, the female infanticide was so prevalent that at one time in some conservative states the male female ratio was 700 to 1000 babies born. Thankfully, a lot has changed due to government help, education and female self help groups.
    In India, during marriage time, the brides family had to provide huge amounts of money to grooms family. So having girls meant drain on the family wealth. So culture and economy played a huge role in encouraging the female infanticide. Though the times are changing and outlook of people, the changes are taking place slowly.

  • GirlinaTrenchcoat

    Agree to infinity! I hear that ‘preference talk’ from some people in my circle and it’s actually started me wishing my first child would be a boy just so they’d leave me alone already.

    I also find it sad when people say to families with no sons “aww too bad you don’t have a boy to carry on the family name or be your heir”. It’s almost like we live in the Middle Ages again, but it’s also the norm that women cannot inherit or own property in some societies, so it really makes it difficult to not prefer one over the other. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    I’ll stay anonymous for this one. Yes my parents wanted a healthy baby too and honestly I’m thankful I was their only child. My bf grew up in a household where his mom preferred his sister and treated him and his brother poorly. It’s very sad. The dad just went along with it even though he didn’t like it, but he didn’t speak out against his wife much.

    Like they would buy his sister nice clothes, bought her a car, but they would buy the boys clothes that didn’t fit very well and they didn’t like. The mom would often neglect them like buy them school supplies for projects, she would buy food and say they couldn’t touch it that it was for their sister. It’s sad how they grew up.

    As a result his older brother doesn’t speak to the family very much. My bf is not very close to his parents. He still stays in touch with them but he isn’t close. I think he talks to them every 6 months and visits them every 2-3 years. His mom has apologized the way she treated him.

    But there are scars there that come out from my bf from time to time, where he feels sad over his childhood. He doesn’t act out but you can tell he feels the sadness in his voice. The thing is, he is very forgiving and I don’t know where he gets that from. When I told my mom how they were treated, she thought it was terrible.

    Even if parents prefer one child over the rest, why do they have to show it? Sometimes some children and parents have more things in common than they do with the other children. But don’t shower the favorite with constant gifts, attention, love, etc.

    That just creates family discontent and animosity. Their family is not close at all.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      That’s pretty sad… I mean to not feel loved because of your gender especially as a child is very disheartening. That’s kind of a twist on things that it was the girl who was revered and not the boy.

  • Mallika

    Disagree with a portion of your post : it’s not like the guy has any control over what happens!
    It’s not like he says to himself ‘hey let’s trick my wife and make her go through hell’. Biologically, he has been given that ability, but in reality its not under anyone’s control.
    Unfortunately yes, the number of females / males is off in India – and history is partially responsible. People (rural mostly now-a-days) favor boys since the belief was, men can take care of things. Women can’t. Lol..blame history, and the people don’t know any better than to keep history alive!

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Yes I understand that not any guy has any control over what happens either, but there are actual husbands out there who beat their wives for not having given them a son.

      Can we at least acknowledge the irony?

  • AdinaJ

    Small nit pick: would the practice be polyandry? Not that it sounds like the woman really has any agency in that situation.

    I won’t lie: after my son, I did kind of want a girl. I would have been more than fine with another boy, but yeah. For all kinds of selfish reasons, including the fact that I’m really close to my mom and I wanted that mother-daughter relationship. Of course, no guarantee that my daughter and I will actually have a similar relationship, or that she will be a girly girl like me, etc.

    But, certainly, the idea of aborting a child based on gender, or treating her/him poorly because of it, is abhorrent.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      Yes you’re right. *smacks forehead*.. I knew that and still wrote polygamy because I’m so used to the word over polyandry.

      HAHA.. your little girl is going to grow up to be your spitting image with your personality (and penchant for shopping). 🙂 I can see it in her little eyes..!!

  • Nick @ theboywander

    I completely agree with you in saying that they should love the baby for who they are but to turn around and say they should blame the man instead? Blaming the man has the exact same consequences as blaming the woman and that’s neglecting the child.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I’m being facetious saying that.

      Obviously I don’t think anyone should blame any parent for it, but I know in some cultures the woman is whipped / beaten / tortured for having given birth to a girl instead of a boy, when in fact science says that it’s the man who determines the sex of the child.

  • Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way

    You’re right, having a healthy baby is the most important of all! When I got pregnant 7 years ago, when I had my ultrasound I refused to look at it, since my baby was very healthy, I just want to be surprised what would be my baby’s gender.

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I hate surprises, so I liked knowing I’d have a boy so I could name him and think about him… but I still had a girl’s name in the back of my pocket JUST IN CASE 🙂

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