Close up photo of a baby in incubator with adult gently reaching in and holding one foot

Anthropology’s Lihong Shi writes op-ed on recent changes in Chinese tradition of families trying for a son 

Lihong Shi, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, wrote an op-ed article published in Sixth Tones, a digital news media outlet in China, discussing the recent changes in the long-held tradition of Chinese couples trying for a son.

In her article, Shi discussed the history of the Chinese one-child practice, and explained the deep-rooted importance of having a son for familial continuage and financial stability. However, she noted, there are gradual changes occurring within the Chinese familial structure, as many rural Chinese families have begun to have only one daughter despite the relaxed policy that allowed them to have a second child—a chance for a son. In this, she examined the socioeconomic and cultural transformations that are occurring in rural China that have  engendered this drastic change from a longstanding tradition of the preference for male children.

Read the piece.