In November 1996, a survey was conducted in the northern Anhui District in China to examine the preference of the rural population for the sex of expected children and their corresponding behaviors. Questionnaires were distributed to 1496 women of childbearing age and 506 rural married men. Findings showed that people in this rural area have a strong preference for male children as exemplified by the 83.42% who prefer a boy as their firstborn. Such preference is due to the following reasons: 1) produce a male heir to continue the family line (49.9%); 2) a son is viewed as a security for old age (36.5%); and 3) the need of a son for future labor (13.6%). Despite the strong preference for a male child, people in the region treat their sons and daughters equally.