Condolences, It's a Girl

China's one-child-per-couple policy has inflamed the ancient preference for sons

The letter from a Chinese woman to her American friend reflected her torment and tears. "I told you I wish a baby girl, because nothing can compare with one's love of a baby, especially mother and daughter," she wrote in broken English. Instead of bringing joy, however, the birth of a daughter was destroying her family. "My husband wants to divorce me," she continued. "When he knew the baby was a girl, he left quickly." Reluctant to blame only her husband, she pointed to her in-laws. "He is the only boy, so his having a son is more important for his...

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