A daughter is a female offspring; a girl, woman, or female animal in relation to her parents. Daughterhood is the state of being a daughter. The male counterpart is a son. Analogously the name is used in several areas to show relations between groups or elements.
In patriarchal societies, daughters often have different or lesser familial rights than sons. A family may prefer to have sons rather than daughters, with the daughters subjected to female infanticide. In some societies it is the custom for a daughter to be 'sold' to her husband, who must pay a bride price. The reverse of this custom, where the parents pay the husband a sum of money to compensate for the financial burden of the woman, is found in societies where women do not labour outside the home, and is referred to as dowry.
In the United States, the birth rate is 105 sons to 100 daughters which has been the natural birth rate since the 18th century. About 80 percent of prospective adoptive parents from the US will choose a girl over a boy.
- Stein, Dorothy: Burning widows, burning brides: The perils of daughterhood in India. Pacific Affairs, Vol 61, No. 3, p. 465. University of British Columbia.