If females were so valued, why did mothers kill baby girls and not baby boys?
Parents – and especially single mothers – sometimes killed female infants but not males. Why not? When starvation threatened, families had more need for boys to plow fields and produce food than for girls to produce more children who would consume more food. If boys were needed for war, the society sometimes disposed of the girls as infants and disposed of the boys in war. Why dispose of the girls at all? If the war wiped out women’s economic support system of men, sometimes girl infants were “aborted’’ until women could get supported.
The issue was not female versus male. It was whether the female or male role was more needed at a given time. The solution? Socializing both sexes to play both roles.