The Other I

August 25, 2011

Bad news: “It’s not a boy!”

Filed under: Worries — theotheri @ 2:56 pm
Tags: ,

Gendercide – the killing of unwanted children only because they are female rather than male – exists on every continent of the world and is increasing in alarming rates especially in places like India and China.

There are many reasons for this, but one is that Western technology has backfired.  Many aid workers thought that making ultrasound scans available would enable parents to have the greatly valued son first, and that  daughters arriving after that would be less in danger of being aborted or abandoned.

It hasn’t happened.  Instead ultrasound scans have been a significant force in increasing China’s current ratio of male/female live births to 124 to 100.  A similar pattern is evolving in India.  Unstopped, China is on its way to having as many unmarried young men as the entire population of young men in America.

Is this so terrible?

Yes.  The effects of a disproportion this huge between marriageable young men and young women are far more destructive than the injustices arising from unequal opportunities in the workplace.

Crime, sexual violence, bride trafficking,  and female suicide are already on the increase.  Increased wars are historically associated with an undue number of males in a society without the maturing commitments to family and children that marriage typically brings.

Can anything be done about this deadly inequality imposed even before birth?

Actually, there is.

China can reverse its one-child policy which has led in some areas of the country to male-female ratios of as high as 200/100.

But this is by no means the only driver of this unnatural skewing.  Nor will economic development alone stop it.  The sex ratio among well-off in India is even more distorted than it is among the poor.

The Economist points out that South Korea has reversed the trend through female education, anti-discrimination suits and equal-rights rulings.

We must find other ways as well in countries that are not yet as rich as South Korea.

Because the entire planet could be changed as drastically by a disproportionately high number of young men unable to find wives as by global warming or an economic meltdown.

 

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