Sugar and Spice

Every month or so, poll results that rankle are published by somebody.  A good example of the genre is the Gallup poll, published June 23, wherein it’s revealed that, by a more than two-to-one margin, men (young men especially) would prefer a boy child to a girl.

Gallup put the question this way: Suppose you could have only one child.  Would you prefer that it be a boy or a girl?  Men as a whole said they would prefer a boy, 49% to 22%, while young men (18 to 29 years old) favored a boy over a girl 54% to 27%!

Not for the first time, such results lead one to ask the question: Are you guys nuts?  Never mind that girls grow up to be women, among the most beautiful things in this world, even before then, as children and babies, girls are among the greatest treasures any man will ever find.

I know this first hand because, as the father of two girls, and the grandfather of four, I’m an expert on little girls (and big girls too).  When my younger daughter was two, and being held by her mother one night, she noticed faintly an image in her mother’s pupils, and told her she had “angels in her eyes.”  With her blond hair and pink nightgown it was an easy mistake to make, but the truth, of course, is that the angel was in her mother’s lap.

For men especially, girls of whatever age can provide a unique kind of refuge – to a calmer, less materialistic, and more nurturing place – that by their nature boys and men would otherwise experience only rarely.

None of this, of course, is to say anything negative about boys.  I have a grandson too. But the poll in question suggests that boys are already held in sufficiently high regard.

Gallup has been asking this question for 70 years, and the results in 2011 are little different from those in 1941, so if you’re a glass half-full kind of person you might be relieved that things haven’t gotten worse over time. But guys, please, if Gallup ever asks you this question, remember what Dave Barry said: “If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant’s life, she will choose to save the infant’s life without even considering if there are men on base.”


The opinions expressed above are those of the writer and not of The Media Institute, its Board, contributors, or advisory councils.