There's an interesting article in yesterday's edition of the Economist.
Even today in the modern, developed world, surveys show that parents still prefer to have a boy rather than a girl. One longstanding reason why boys have been seen as a greater blessing has been that they are expected to become better economic providers for their parents' old age. Yet it is time for parents to think again. Girls may now be a better investment.
Girls get better grades at school than boys, and in most developed countries more women than men go to university. Women will thus be better equipped for the new jobs of the 21st century, in which brains count a lot more than brawn. In Britain far more women than men are now training to become doctors. And women are more likely to provide sound advice on investing their parents' nest egg: surveys show that women consistently achieve higher financial returns than men do.
Furthermore, the increase in female employment in the rich world has been the main driving force of growth in the past couple of decades. Those women have contributed more to global GDP growth than have either new technology or the new giants, China and India (see article). Add the value of housework and child-rearing, and women probably account for just over half of world output. It is true that women still get paid less and few make it to the top of companies, but, as prejudice fades over coming years, women will have great scope to boost their productivity—and incomes.
Hmm....let the battle of the sexes begin.
On a related note, there was an article in the January 30, 2006 issue of Newsweek entitled The Trouble With Boys. Apparently, boys are falling further and further behind in school. And educators are beginnning to take more creative/drastic measures to remedy the situation.