A baby boy grows up to get a job, brings dowry, and stays with the parents forever. His wife takes care of the family until their last days.
A baby girl is an expense to raise. The family needs to spend on dowry if they want to get her married. If they don’t get her married, society would talks ill. After the parents have lost money on raising her and on dowry, she leaves. The parents end up alone. Now, they have to take care of themselves. How bad!!
Female fetuses were killed and are killed because they weren’t and aren’t profitable. If boys were unprofitable and girls were, I guarantee the trend would reverse. Families would start dropping male fetuses. People are driven by profit. They act to obtain rewards and abstain punishment. This is a fact in behavior psychology. In economics, the same is conveyed by saying that people are driven by incentives.
The real evil here is immorality, not misogyny. I have often chided Indians for treating family matters like business. They have a ton of expectations from children and other family members like one would from one’s investment. The solution is to understand that that which harbors expectations is not love. People must move away from evil and towards love. They should love their children, not just use them as a means to an end.
Labeling female feticide as a gender issue has misled the masses to look for solutions that are unrelated to the problem. Here are some structural changes that can help society if people continue to be immoral -
1. We must reduce income inequality. Income inequality leads to hypergamy. Since a few males alone have money, families have to offer more to sell their daughters to rich men. In a nation with less wealth inequality, there would more marriageable men, reducing dowry possibly eliminating it.
2. Institutionalized education most go. It causes youth poverty, which delays marriage. Once girls get old enough, their marriage prospects become limited.
3. The minimum age of marriage, even if we want to legislate it, can’t be more than 14 or 15. Since young adults start flirting at that age, they are old enough to marry. This allows both genders more time to find a partner. Only in youth do girls and boys like each other organically. Once they get older, they become greedy. Girls decline in beauty faster, which means they may have to pay to get married if they wait forever.
We live in a severely messed up, misled, and immoral world. Our issues are complicated and multifaceted. Simply painting them as gender issues is intellectually dishonest and an attempt to mislead the masses. A simple solution to all problems is letting go of pride, not wanting to rule over others, and seeking virtue over money. But I guess, I am asking for too much.