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为什么男人更想要男孩,女人想要女孩?

2014-08-07    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Why dads want sons, but moms want daughters

That tired truism about wanting only a healthy baby and not caring about gender? Puh-leeze. Women want daughters, and men crave sons, finds research in the journal Open Anthropology.

The results surprised even the researchers, from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, who’d surveyed more than 2,000 students, staff and faculty at the college about gender preference in offspring. They’d assumed that respondents would show little or no preference, but they found that — no matter how they worded the question — there was a “significant offspring gender preference” along gender lines.

Respondents answered the following questions:

1. What gender would you prefer your firstborn child to be (or did you hope for if you already have a child)?

2. If you were to have (or do have) more than one child, would you prefer the majority to be male or female?

3. If you were to have only one child, what gender would you prefer it to be?
“Today, offspring gender preference conflicts with the ongoing mission in many nations, especially in Western Europe and North America, to pursue social and political agendas aimed at eliminating all discrimination on the basis of gender,” write the authors.

And yet, it persists. What gives?

Men’s preference for sons is pretty easy to explain in terms of evolution. Males have a greater chance of perpetuating the family genes by fathering far more children than a woman could ever bear. Women’s preference for daughters is more nuanced. Maybe it’s a maternal desire to have a shared experience of pregnancy, or maybe women are subscribing to visions of perceived mom-daughter emotional bonds. Call it a “legacy drive,” say the authors, and consider that modern women are so infused with pride over their social and financial empowerment that they want to share the good life with their girls. “There is currently a tendency in North American society to place a high degree of emphasis on realizing one’s own ‘success’ through the success of one’s children,” write the authors. “The present data suggest that this opportunity for legacy is envisioned for males generally through sons, but for females generally through daughters.”

The study didn’t look at thornier questions of whether would-be parents are so committed to the idea of having a child of the same sex that they would practice gender selection to achieve their dreams. But an editorial published in the current edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal makes the case that parents shouldn’t learn their baby-to-be’s sex until after 30 weeks of pregnancy when abortions are no longer permitted. Female feticide — aborting girls — isn’t unusual in countries including India and China, but it’s apparently also happening in some ethnic groups in Canada and the US.

“This evil devalues women,” writes Dr. Rajendra Kale, the journal’s interim editor-in-chief. “How can it be curbed? The solution is to postpone the disclosure of medically irrelevant information to women until after about 30 weeks of pregnancy.”

That probably wouldn’t go over well stateside, where pregnant women have become accustomed to learning their baby’s sex courtesy of an ultrasound wand before 20 weeks.


“A pregnant woman being told the sex of the fetus at ultrasonography at a time when an unquestioned abortion is possible is the starting point of female feticide from a health care perspective,” writes Dr. Kale. Although a woman has a right to information about herself that relates to her health and medical care, “the sex of the fetus is medically irrelevant information (except when managing rare sex-linked illnesses) and does not affect care.”

相关内容

还在老生常谈“不管性别如何,只要一个健康的宝宝”吗?呀,别提了!《开放人类学》杂志(Open Anthropology)近来研究发现女性实际上更喜欢生女孩而男性对儿子情有独钟。

这一结果让研究人员也震惊不已,来自加拿大安大略省(Ontario,Canada)皇后大学(Queen's University)的研究人员们通过对在校2000多名学生,职工和教师进行后代偏好问题的调查,得出这一惊人结论。起初他们臆测,受访者基本没有或很少有性别偏好,但是后来发现——无论他们用怎样的方式提出问题,在性别方面答案总是呈现出“明显的后代性别偏好选择”。

受访者需要回答下述问题:
1. 你希望你的第一个孩子是男是女?(即使你已经有了孩子,你是否考虑过这个问题?)

2. 如果你将至少生育几个孩子的话,你希望他们大多数是男孩还是女孩?

3. 如果你只打算生一个孩子的话,那么你更希望是男孩还是女孩?

调查人员记录道:“如今,子女偏好与许多国家的当下社会任务产生了冲突,这尤其体现在西欧和北美等追求社会和政治议程旨在消除所有基于性别因素导致歧视的国家。”
然而,性别偏好的现象依旧存在。什么是导致这一切的根源呢?

从进化的角度来看,很容易便能解释男人对儿子的偏爱。男性往往比女性拥有更多机会来通过养育孩子延续家族基因。女性对女儿的偏爱之情就更为微妙了,或许是一种母性的期待母女二人能够分享妊娠的经历,或者是女性更认同这种称为情感纽带的物质。作者写道:“将之称为遗产的驱使吧”,考虑到现代女性在社会和财政权力方面“掌握大权”并如此沾沾自喜,使得她们想同女儿分享这一美好的生活。对此,作者继续记录道:“在北美社会,目前的趋势是高度强调通过孩子的成功来实现自己的成功之梦,当下的数据也表明遗产继承一般都由父辈传至儿子,而母亲往往是传至女儿。”

该项学术研究并没有关注这一更为棘手的问题——“准爸爸妈妈”们是否会通过性别选择手段统一孩子的性别来实现自身的梦想。但是最新一期的《加拿大医学协会杂志》上发表的一篇社论表示父母不应当在妊娠30周之内便知晓胎儿的性别情况,这个30周的时间过后便不再允许堕胎行为的发生。在中国和印度等国家女性堕胎流产胎儿的案例屡见不鲜,但在美国和加拿大某些种族群体中,也明显存在着堕胎现象。

杂志临时主编拉金德·卡勒(Rajendra Kale)写道:“堕胎这个恶魔贬低了女性的地位。”“怎样才能禁止堕胎呢?解决方法便是延期告知时间,在怀孕30周之后再告知当事人这些无关痛痒的具体信息。”

这一提议在美国本土并不会收获良好效果,在美国,孕妇们在20周之前通过超声波检测仪了解腹中胎儿的性别已成惯例。

卡勒博士写道:“从医疗保健的角度来看,孕妇一旦下定决心堕胎时,通过超声波得知胎儿的性别情况将是执行堕胎手术的起点。”尽管女性有权力知晓自身健康和医疗保健情况,但是“除了能够检测到罕见的伴性疾病时,胎儿的性别着实是无关信息,它也不会影响到孕妇的日常护理。”


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