While 1950s and 60s the balancing out the national sex ratio owing to high fertility and state policies promoting gender equality, recent decades however have seen childhood sex ratio imbalances increasing, owing in great part to China’s One-Child policy. Implemented in 1980, this policy demonstrates the tremendous capacity of the Chinese state to devise, implement, and monitor population policies affection the reproductive decisions of all citizens. In the years following its establishment, coercive enforcement coupled with an undiminished social preference for sons, particularly in rural areas led briefly to a resurgence of actual cases of neonatal female infanticide. Now, however postnatal infanticide has been largely superseded by sex-selective abortion. This technological change represents the most significant difference between nineteenth-century and twentieth-century expressions of son preference in China.
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