Sunday, March 14, 2010

Gendercide--it's not technology or policies

Recently The Economist focused on the worldwide phenomenon of Bare Branches. That's the epithet awarded Chinese men who can't find wives, an occurrence which is happening more and more. The normal birth ratio (108 boys to 100 girls) has become skewed. In some parts of China 130 boys are born for every 100 girls. It's estimated that in ten years China will have as many bachelors as there are young males in America.
That's a lot of bachelors--and that's just from China.
According to The Economist "Gendercide exists on almost every continent. It affects the rich and poor; educated and illiterate; Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike."
Fifteen years ago, China and India tried to stem the overflow of boys by making gender-based abortions illegal. That didn't help.
"The destruction of baby girls is a product of three forces:
the ancient preference for sons,
a modern desire for smaller families,
and ultrasound scanning..."
It appears that the first force is the strongest. The only east Asian country which has been able to reverse the skewed birth ratio is South Korea. They reversed their long-held cultural preference for boys and --miracle of miracles--more girls were born.

For more, read the March 4th Issue of the Economist:
The Worldwide War On Baby Girls, Gendercide and Sobs on the Night.


Anonymous said...

Wow, Jana. Do you knwo where the U.S. falls in this pattern?

Jana McBurney-Lin said...

Actually, most of the US has a pretty average range, but there are sections of the US which have significantly higher ratios of boys than girls--mostly among the Asian population. What's striking is that level of education and wealth have little effect---it's the culture/tradition that has a stranglehold.

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