Boys over Girls in the USA


Americans are boy crazy, it seems. That’s the take-home message of a new Gallup poll, which found that Americans would prefer a boy to a girl if they could only have one child. In the poll of 1,020 adults, 40 percent said they’d pick a boy, while 28 percent said they’d choose a girl. The rest had no preference.

Funny thing is that the results are similar to attitudes measured by Gallup in 1941, when the boy preference was a 38 percent to 24 percent margin.  In fact, Gallup’s done the same poll 10 times since 1941 and the results have always skewed in favor of boys. (Hellooo? Wasn’t there a women’s movement somewhere in there?)

Helloooo? Hasn’t MSNBC or Ms. Varma-White, the author of the piece, heard of systemic misogyny or patriarchy or the backlash to feminism or Phyllis Schafly or the war against reproductive rights or any of that shit?  Or are we seriously supposed to believe that she thinks that the “women’s movement” solved all those problems and so rubs her hands as if to say, “all done!”

Her analysis of why this is true from the Gallup poll results:

Like leaving the toilet seat up and never asking for directions, apparently it’s a guy thing. That is, it’s men who drive the preference for boys over girls. In the poll, 49 percent of men said they’d want a son, while only 22 percent said they’d prefer a daughter. Women showed no real preference, with 31 percent choosing a boy and 32 percent preferring a girl.

It’s also an age thing. Americans younger than 30 were the most likely to want a little dude (54 percent compared to 27 percent who wanted a gal), and the gap declines with age.

Other categories that tipped in favor of boys: education (people with only a high-school education or less preferred boys) and politics (Republicans want boys more than Dems do).

Young Republican men with a high-school education want to have boys.

Three thoughts:

  1. MSNBC put this under their “TODAYMoms” section of their website.  So, even though this WHOLE article is about how dudes like having baby boys instead of girls, it’s directed at Moms.  Brilliant.
  2. One of the things that I see a lot of on my Tumblr (which is primarily about reproductive rights) is the claim of abortion being used to select a baby’s sex (so having an abortion when your fetus does not have the sex you wanted – almost always when the fetus is a girl and not a boy).  In this discussion, we LOVE LOVE LOVE to be all imperial and condescending when we note how that takes place over there somewhere else far away and foreign, specifically in India and China.  Clearly China, with its anti-choice laws regarding the number of children a couple can birth, encourages such behavior and so when societal beliefs about which sex is “better” are pushed to such an extreme, sex selection via abortion becomes more obvious, easier to point a finger at.  I’m not sure where the data comes from with India.  But whatever is at play in these foreign, not-at-all-like-the-US countries regarding sex selection, the same ideas are present here at home.
  3. Those Republicans who value boys more than they value girls – well, we didn’t need a poll to tell us that.  They sure are showing it these days, yelling it loudly at the top of their lungs.

One thought on “Boys over Girls in the USA

  1. This made me stabby. Especially since it chased a great post from Abortion Gang about sex-selective abortion. I need to learn to stop feeling so stabby. And just accept my female lot in life. Second class. How much happier would I be? Think of all the energy I would have. I could *CLEAN* things. Like a woman’s supposed to.

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