For couples in the countryside, a little leeway is given. They are allowed two children. Any succeeding child though is equivalent to heavy fines. This restriction has resulted into mass abortions, abusive behavior from officials and a lot of male children.
In China, it is customary for the sons to take care of their parents in their old age. Between having a son or a daughter, the obvious choice then is to have a male child. The girls are married off, implying a transfer of responsibilities to the girls’ in-laws. Daniela Deane writes “in the absence of a social security system, having a son is the difference between starving and eating when one is old”. (80) Because of China’s one-child policy, this has brought in a generation of male children who are obese, lazy and rude. As Deane continues, there exists a 4-2-1syndrome – four grandparents and two parents who zealously ensure that their son has a comfortable life. (78) They feed him anything he wants. They lavish him with attention. They spend hard-earned money on extra-curricular lessons for him. They act like he’s the most precious thing in the world and he is. He is their ticket to a secure life as senior citizens. One example in Deane’s essay would be the woman who wanted an operation to revert a previous ligation she had just to have another child as her only son had perished in a car accident. (83)
This obsession with male children has other effects than only spoiled male offsprings. For those who are capable of paying fines for another child, their daughters are often neglected. For some who are not so fortunate, daughters are abandoned, neglected or worse, killed. Some moms give birth in seclusion. Baby girls are left in hospitals or in empty lots and open fields, sometimes even on sidewalks. Those who belong to families are not given as much love or attention as the male children. As Deane reported in her essay, the number of missing