Sex-Selection Abortions, Female Infanticides Causing Tremendous Problems

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 29, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sex-Selection Abortions, Female Infanticides Causing Tremendous Problems Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 29
, 2006

London, England ( — A new study that focuses on the problems of sex-selection abortions and female infanticides has found that cultures where those practicse occur have bred a surplus of men who will struggle to find sexual partners and could find themselves marginalized in society.

They say the phenomenon is leading to organized crime and terrorism.

Dr. Therese Hesketh of the University College London Institute of Child Health and Dr. Zhu Wei Xing from the Zhejiang Normal University in China published the results of their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a statement obtained, they warn that measures to reduce sex selection and change cultural attitudes are urgently needed.

The researchers found that, as more men discover their lack of marriage prospects, this could lead to antisocial behavior, violence and possibly more opportunities for organized crime and terrorism, threatening the stability and security of many societies.

"The ratio of men to women in most populations is remarkably constant if left untouched," Hesketh explained. "The tradition of son preference, however, has distorted these natural sex ratios in large parts of Asia and North Africa."

Hesketh said that sex-selection abortions, which have become common in India and in China, where residents of the Asian nation are prohibited from having more than one child, are causing the problems.

"Sex-selective abortion and discrimination in care practices for girls have led to higher female mortality,’ she said.

"Although health care for women is generally improving, these advances have been offset by a huge increase in the use of sex-selective abortion, and there are now an estimated 80 million missing females in India and China alone," Hesketh added.

As has reported before, the sex-selection abortions and infanticides have produced a myriad of social problems in places where men will outnumber women by large numbers.

"These men will remain single and will be unable to have families," Hesketh observed, adding that they will mostly be "rural peasants of low socioeconomic class with limited education."

She indicated that, already, 94 percent of unmarried people age 28-49 in China are male and 97 percent have not finished high school.

"This trend could lead to increased levels of antisocial behavior and violence," such as organized crime and terrorism.

Hesketh said that in South Korea, where sex-selection abortion prevention measures have been taken, conditions are improving.

"Fundamental changes in attitudes are starting to happen, which will hopefully see the bias in sex ratio gradually decline over the next two to three decades," she said.

Improvements can occur in China as well, and a recent survey shows some attitudes changing.

In a recent national survey, 37 percent of Chinese women surveyed claimed to have no gender preference, and 45 percent said the ideal family consisted of one boy and one girl. Almost equal numbers of the women expressed a preference for one girl as for one boy.

"However, the damage for a large number of today’s young men and boys has already been done," she concluded.