Since 1941, American men have expressed a preference for sons over daughters. Gallup poll data stretching back decades reveal that the proportion of both men and women who say that they'd rather have a son than a daughter has barely fluctuated, always hovering around 40 percent. Broken down by the gender, the poll shows that 49 percent of men wants boys over girls. By contrast, women are pretty evenly divided on the issue, with around a third wanting a boy, a third wanting a girl and a third not caring either way.
Gallup asked participants the following question: "Suppose you could only have one child. Would you prefer that it be a boy or a girl?"
The New York Times Economix blog was perplexed with the poll, unable to pinpoint any cultural motivations for the son preference. For instance, while men might earn more money, women tend to care for elderly parents. Some blog readers attributed it to a patriarchal society, and others thought it was simply "easier" to raise boys.
I don't think there's any simple answer to the question, other than perhaps men feel like they could relate to sons easier than daughters. One reader did present an interesting contrast with gender preference and adoption:
Any insight on this issue, fellows?