I came across a discussion about how people in China prefer boys, but Americans prefer to raise girls. Here is one person's take -- I strongly agree with her:
I don't know, but I think this preference is of fairly recent vintage. I think the reason may be the growing prevalence of disabilities in boys - disabilities that in many cases aren't real disabilities, but cultural problems - a more sedentary life, the acceleration of education (children are now expected to read in kindergarten, but many boys aren't ready then), increasing rates of autism (which is dramatically more prevalent in boys), the end of things like recess and traditional outlets for "boy" behavior. In one large study, the most common factor for diagnosis of disability or behavioral problems is not class, race, medical history, etc.. but gender - if you are a boy, you are more than 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with something, or treated as a "problem." Our society has become more girl friendly and less boy friendly in many ways, and that, I think, has translated into perceptions that girls are easier and perhaps better.
My mother was a social worker for many, many years, and one of the things she noted was that boys are *vastly* more difficult to place for adoption than girls. Children who are hard to place are considered "special needs" - often this doesn't mean any medical problem, simply that no one wants them. A white girl was (this was five years ago) considered to be difficult to adopt at 6 years. A white boy at about 4 1/2. An African American girl became special needs at 4, but an African American boy was special needs as soon as he left infancy, because non-white boys were everyone's last choice.
Sharon in upstate NY, who hopes someday to adopt, and would gladly
adopt non-white boys to go with her herd of little guys.