Wednesday, May 07, 2003

sorry, little girl, but you're screwed

In the journal Demography, University of Washington economists Elaina Rose and Shelley Lundberg tell us that fathers of sons spent more money on their families and worked longer hours than fathers of girls.

"It may just be that parents feel more strongly that a boy needs a father around," Rose said in a statement, suggesting not only that men may value sons more, but that little girls are more likely to grow up poor. "Men probably see a biological son as their immortality," Rose added. "It's a little 'me'."

It's very distressing to find out that so many fathers apparently feel this way.

In my experience, it's also untrue. Many of the fathers of girls I know work as hard or harder than fathers with sons. In fact, it seems that the fathers of boys are more likely to slack off - because to them, in some regard, they have done their duty and perpetuated their family name (assuming their boy lives to adulthood, remains straight and produces offspring in a context that permits the passing of the surname). Family names, after all, are big here in the Philippines, as they are in countries of a similar socio-cultural bent.

The study also tells us that a single mother is 42 times more likely to marry the father of her son than she was to marry the father if the child was a girl.

The implication is that it is easier for single mothers to marry a man (even it is isn't the father of the boy) if she has a boy, and that little girls are simply screwed.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what got my goat this humid Wednesday morning.

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