Preconception Gender Selection and Life Satisfaction in China

by Zet Y

Topics on preconception gender selection have been debated for years among the philosophers and social scientists and, as no final conclusion been given yet, I discuss “Preconception Gender Selection” through a detailed analysis grounded on Ahmed Sara and Berlant Laurent’s view on cultural differences and Cruel optimism, focused on Chinese unique Culture background and traditions as well as Marcus W. Feldman, Zeng Yi and National Bureau of Statistics of China’s data of sex ratio and problems of gender discrimination, this study aims to determine how new offspring gender selection technology affects people’s general life satisfaction in China. Specifically, topics on gender discrimination, sex ratio imbalance, and the feasibility of using this technology in various regions with different cultural backgrounds, as well as how these issues affect people’s life satisfaction, are discussed. A total of 30 surveys as the primary data source of this study were administered to respondents across different ages, genders, regions, and social statuses. Results indicate that although most people express they can benefit from using gender selection technology, their life satisfaction is generally not improved in the long run because of the other effects of gender selection.


An imbalanced sex ratio within society decreases life satisfaction, especially when it comes to marriage prospects and gender discrimination. According to Hao Zhidong’s “Social Issues in China,” (Hao, 85) women suffer from many disadvantages, including lower salaries, a lower chance of obtaining education and sometimes incapability of inheriting their parents’ estates. It should be taken into consideration that some Chinese families always prefer to raise males over females since male always produce more social values than women (this topic will be discussed in gender discrimination paragraphs); as a result, the sex-ratio is imbalanced. According to “Causes and Implications of the Recent Increase in the Reported Sex Ratio at Birth In China,” written by Zeng Yi, the Chinese sex ratio was close to the world average (106 males to 100 females) in the year 1960, but after that the ratio diverges until it reaches 113.8 in 1989 (Zheng Yi, 284). According to “Chinese Government sixth population research”, Statistics show that in 2010, the new born sex ratio was 105.20:100, with some provinces reaching as high as 114.52:100, and year 2010 new born offspring sex ration is 118:100 That is to say, there will be approximately 8.26% of the population whom could not get married in the future when those children grows up. According to my surveys on Chinese people’s current life satisfaction, Over 90% percent of test people stating their life satisfaction would drop rapidly if they are unable to get married in the future and this situation could further spiral downward (the cause of decrease life satisfaction will be included in the section of Culture difference). In conclusion, contrary to Robertson’s suggestion at the sex-ratio could be “self-correcting” due to the excess of one gender making the other gender more desirable (Robertson 4), Statistics implies at least in China, Sex Ratio will keep diverging as it was Changing from year 1990 to year 2009 if we encourage PGS to continue; as a result, people’s life satisfaction will decrease due to the problems of marriage and increasing gender discrimination.


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