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Sex of children, Parental preferences for; Sex discrimination--United States; Sex discrimination--Japan


Is a preference for children of a given sex in a society primarily a result of cultural values, of social requirements or of individual needs? Although it is impossible completely to separate these types of influence, since social change may modify cultural traditions, and social interaction and cultural values influence individual needs. perhaps some assessment of the relative importance of various social and cultural phenomena involved in sex preference in a society can be attempted.

The present study is an exploratory treatment of the nature and degree of sex preference in two societies - Japanese and American - and a consideration of possible explanations for differences both within and between the two societies in degree of sex preference. Though it may appear to follow the model of a classical sociological study, this treatment involves an attempt to combine the methods of analyzing data used by sociologists with the functional, holistic concepts of anthropology. Such concepts are introduced particularly in the discussion of the Japanese family, where sex preference is related to Japanese society and culture as a whole, rather than to individual variables alone.

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