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Austin Power’s arch nemesis Dr. Evil may have been onto something when he cloned himself. The widely known and contemporarily loved Mini Me was an exact replica of Dr. Evil only -- you guessed it -- in miniature size.
While Dr. Evil intended to exploit Mini Me for villainous purposes, we can understand and relate to his paternal motives. Dr. Evil simply wanted to share with the world another version of himself -- an offspring he was proud to call his own.
The Austin Powers saga may be a fictitious movie series, but the paternal intentions displayed by Dr. Evil’s character have very real roots in today’s modern society.
In fact, it’s that desire felt by men and women to leave behind a version of themselves that’s the root of our gender bias in our offspring according to Dr. Lonnie Aarssen, a Queen’s University biology professor and co-author of a study on gender bias of prospective parents.
Historically speaking, “Both men and women indicated a strong preference for sons, and this has evolutionary roots connected with the fact that males have a nearly limitless capacity to father future offspring and advance the family line. Now that women are empowered like never before in history, they are free to anticipate and realize their vision for legacy, expressly through opportunities now more widely available to their own gender,” said Dr. Aarssen.
But a recent Gallup poll might state the contrary view. As reported by the Huffington Post, recent Gallup poll numbers show that Americans -- women and men -- still prefer a male offspring when asked to choose one. The Huffington Post reports that “40 percent of Americans prefer to have a son and only 26 percent a daughter.”
We’ve all heard about the horror and devastation in Asian culture and the one-child-family policy -- where many female infants are left to starve and die or are aborted simply because prospective parents want a male to carry on their family heir. While it’s not right, we at least consider the motives for wanting a male offspring in Asian culture, but what’s the excuse in America?
Some say it’s because women will never earn as much as men.