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The One Child Policy And Gender Inequality

2147 words - 9 pages

Given the high sex ratio in recent China population report, the abnormally excessive male birth exemplifies the persistence of son preference on women’s fertility behavior. Son preference rooted in Chinese agriculture-based economy and historical feudalism, in consistence with the reliance on laborers and continuing the family line. Older people prefer to depend on their sons to get financial and physical support, while daughters are regarded as property of their husband’s family since the day of marriage.
However, the wish of having multiple children, especially boys, was challenged by the strict One Child policy in 1979. The One Child policy, also known as Family Planning policy, was implemented across the country as one of fundamental national policies under the administration of Population and Family Planning Commission. Based on the purpose of lowering fertility rates to ease social pressure and improve living standard, a married couple is only allowed to have one child with some exceptions made for some ethnic minorities and rural families. The majority of citizens are classified by ethnics and occupations to fit the specific regulations of compensations and punishments to prevent them from having a second child (Li, J., & Cooney, R, S. 1993).
This proposal eventually triggered a profound introspection which chronically melted patriarchal cultures. The broad topic of how government’s decisions altered social norms is discussed within five sociological studies in my essay in allusion to the impacts of One Child policy on gender inequality.
Key questions
Gender inequality involves ideological preference and physical loss of equal opportunities to gain. The five articles examined the indirect effort of One Child policy on alleviation of gender discrimination from the perspectives of family structure and educational expectation.
It has been three decades since the implementation of the One Child Policy, while the generation who was born under the one-child per family pattern has dominated socioeconomic values. The less anxiety and concern of having male descendents nowadays could confirm the orientation role government policy took on cultural transformation. In early researches, Li and Cooney (1993) presented the different degree of compliance varied by urban and rural area, the educational attainment of women, family formation to imply people’s resistance on One Child policy due to traditional son preference. Seven years later, Merli and Smith (2000) developed a similar investigation on the extent of people’s acceptance of gender equality to examine the policy’s effectiveness on weakening discrimination. Both studies considered the possible influence of family structure when analyzing the interactive effect of socioeconomic development on the relationship between son preference and fertility behavior. The main difference was Li and Conney (1993) tended to detail the policy framework to objectively analyze people’s behavior while Merli...

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