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Snips and Snails Nicer Than Sugar and Spice?

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If a feminized American culture is waging a "war against boys," as the title of a recent book argues, it hasn't dissuaded people from preferring to have male offspring. The chart below summarizes the latest Gallup findings on the issue. The preference for a boy has actually strengthened a bit, rising from the 36 percent of a 1997 survey. As one might guess, men would prefer a son if they could have just one kid, with 55 percent voicing that preference and just 18 percent saying they'd rather have a girl. The tally is more even among women, with 35 percent opting for a girl, 32 percent preferring a boy and28 percent saying either is fine. Are the poll's totals skewed toward boys by the pre-feminist attitudes of older respondents? Quite the opposite: 31 percent of those 65 and older said they'd prefer a boy, versus 55 percent of respondents age 18-29. The overall preference for boys reflects a perception they're easier to raise than girls. Asked which is the easier of the two, 53 percent said boys—an all-time high in Gallup's polling. Just 28 percent said girls are easier to raise. The 18-29 cohort was again a stronghold of pro-boy sentiment, with 64 percent of those respondents saying boys are easier to raise than girls.Michael Neuman/Photo Edit/Picture Quest