Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Consequences of Unnatural Sex Ratios

Gender imbalance is examined in Mara Hvistendahl’ s new book “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men,”which I will be reading as soon as I can get my hands on it.  According to her research, the natural range is between 104 and 106 boys for every 100 girls. But today we see in India, 112 boys for every 100 girls. In China, 121 boys for every 100 girls. In total we are as a world at 107 boys for every 100 girls. This means that families are aborting their baby when they find out it is a girl. “By Ms. Hvistendahl's counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world.”

On top of the “moral horror” of female infanticide, there are many consequences for having such an imbalance- they include: unstable and violence cultures and increase in sex slavery and prostitution (“ not the sex-positive kind that Western feminists are so fond of”)(Hvistendahl). 

 Hvistendahl notes that there is evidence of a link between violence and the sex ratio of a country: “Today in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.” Skewed sex ratios makes ‘securing a bride’ harder and thus ordering and taking brides from poorer countries is common. Sex slavery also booms. “As Columbia economics professor Lena Edlund observes: "The greatest danger associated with prenatal sex determination is the propagation of a female underclass," that a small but still significant group of the world's women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.”

Reading the article, I thought the same thing: that this would be used like gunpowder in the argument against abortion. : “Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful aborting of female babies or it could lead to "feminists' worst nightmare: a ban on all abortions."  Read more about abortions and this article,

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