Until the early 20th century failure to bear a son was grounds for divorce. Koreans greatly preferred boys, who could not only support their parents financially but also carry out ancestral rites. When ultrasound technology became widespread in the 1980s, many South Koreans used it to detect female fetuses and then have them aborted. Sex ratios became skewed. In 1992 twice as many fourth babies were boys as were girls.That was before women started moving into the labor force in larger numbers in the 1990s and the opportunity costs of having a daughter suddenly went from negative to positive. The younger generation of Koreans now seems as equally satisfied with a girl or boy, as the opinion poll data below show:
This is obviously very good news for South Korea's economic and demographic future.