Here, I integrate structural and ideational theories to address these questions in Minya, Egypt. I broaden Brinton’s (1988) theory of the institutional and familial bases of gender stratification processes to include socio-economic resources and constraints within and beyond the marital home. I argue that these resources and constraints affect a woman’s influence in decisions pertaining to her children. I also adapt family sociologist Arland Thornton’s (2001, 2005) theory of developmental idealism to explore whether a woman’s extrafamilial exposures to ideals about gender are associated with her preferences for sons and daughters. Using population-based data from Minya, I test the simultaneous effects of women’s resources and ideational exposures on their gender preferences and influence in domestic and life-course decisions related to children.