Sex Reversal: China – India Bhai Bhai

China’s daughters are disappearing and now we have data to prove it…No, they weren’t kidnapped…They were aborted because they weren’t boys…

A recent study published by the British Medical Journal  bares the gruesome truth…While the worldwide number of boys born per 100 girls ranges from 103 to 107, the figure for China between 2000 and 2004 is 124…This is even more appalling considering the fact that the number was 108 (close to normal) between 1985 and 1989…Why has there been such a surge in the number of girls aborted? Ultasound machines…

[T]he steady rise in sex ratios across the birth cohorts since 1986 mirrors the increasing availability of ultrasonography over that period. The first ultrasound machines were used in the early 1980s; they reached county hospitals by the late 1980s and then rural townships by the mid-1990s.21 29 Since then, ultrasonography has been very cheap and available even to the rural poor.

Worse news is yet to come…The boy-girl ratio increases dramatically among children who were born second and third in their families…

The sex ratio at birth for first order births was slightly high in cities and towns but was within normal limits in rural areas. However, the ratio rose very steeply for second and higher order births in cities 138 (132 to 144), towns 137 (131 to 143), and rural areas 146 (143 to 149), although the numbers of second order births in cities were low. These rises were consistent across all provinces, except Tibet, with very high figures for second births in Anhui (190, 176 to 205) and Jiangsu (192, 174 to 212). For third births, the sex ratio rose to over 200 in four provinces.

200!!! Mindblowing!!! The reason for this is the China’s one child policy, which limits the family size but allows exceptions (Article 18 “Where the requirements specified by laws and regulations are met, plans for a second child, if requested, may be made”) and ancient prejudice…The exceptions give a couple a second and in some cases, a third chance to have a son and when that doesn’t happen, abortion of girls increases…

It is not as if the Chinese government is not aware of the problem or is not doing anything…The authors explain:

The government is very aware of the problem and has openly expressed concerns about the consequences of large numbers of excess men for societal stability and security. As early as 2000 the government launched a range of policies to specifically counter the sex imbalance, the “care for girls” campaign. This includes changes in laws in areas such as inheritance by females, as well as an educational campaign to promote gender equality. These measures have had some success, with reports of lower sex ratios at birth in targeted localities.

The Chinese government’s promotion of gender equality is not due to enlightenment but because it has become a political problem…Earlier, there were too many people…Now there are too many boys…With not enough girls, boys have become unruly and socially dangerous…

India’s daughters are also disappearing even though it’s not a totalitarian country with a one-child policy…It is as we proudly shout – a democracy…The worse thing is that nobody is bothered about it…By ‘nobody’ I mean the politicians and the government…Yes, the government did enact a law in 1996 banning the use of prenatal testing for sex selection, but the practice continues unabated because of the lack of enforcement of the law…The problem and the law are not taken seriously…I haven’t heard a single politician address this issue during campaigning for the ongoing general election…It took Manmohan Singh four years as PM to finally denounce the widespread practice of utero sex determination and selective abortion of female fetuses in India…

The Lancet, a British medical journal, estimated in 2006 as many as 10 million female fetuses had been aborted in India over the previous 20 years…The imbalance in the sex ratio has become particularly acute in India’s wealthier regions, where couples are easily able to afford ultrasound tests…Maharastra (a prosperous state) recorded 946 girls per 1000 boys in 1991; today it is 913…The rich sugar belt of Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara, Ahmednagar, Jalgaon, Beed and Solapur all record a sex ratio of below 900…

Not only do sex-selective abortions reflect the poor status of women in India, they also impede democracy and security…Democracy means all people have equal rights and freedoms, not just men…By aborting female fetuses, a girl’s right to live is being taken away…

One would think the value of women would rise if there were many more men than women (law of demand and supply)…But this is not the case in India…A study from Haryana illustrates that the scarcity of women has led to an increase in violence against them…

Haryana’s extremely low sex ratio (861) has made it very difficult for men to find brides locally. But this has in no way produced a decrease in dowry demands or enhancement of the status of local women. Rather, it has led to the buying, selling and reselling of women; the trafficking, abduction and sexual exploitation of women; marriage at much younger ages; and implementation of harsh measures to keep women under male control. Despite their scarcity, Haryana’s women are subjected to more rapes, forced marriages, prostitution, polyandry and social turmoil than in past decades. Men who are unable to find wives locally buy them from other states with the help of “brokers,” who are thriving in this new business, or even kidnap them (just in case they are unwilling to marry). Many of these “bought-up wives” have no proper registration of their marriages, and as a result, they have no legal status as wives. This renders them vulnerable to sexual exploitation by their husbands’ brothers, male relatives and friends. They are also subjected to social isolation and cultural deprivation as “outsiders.” The status and position of men who must resort to buying wives is also devalued, and they do not get full property rights due to the social stigma attached to such marriages.

Sociological research research suggests that unmarried and dissatisfied men are more aggressive and prone to violence than married and satisfied men…If this is the case, then the ramifications of a skewed sex ratio are mind numbing…India already has a communal problem – what will happen if millions of young men take to the streets? Terrorism will increase because recruiters of terrorist organizations will have more to choose from…Has the government thought about all these problems?

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16 thoughts on “Sex Reversal: China – India Bhai Bhai

  1. Sraboney – Finding it difficult to call you that – got so used to ‘Bones’ 🙂
    This is absolutely scary.. I personally know people who have had female foetuses aborted – I find it sickening that this is actually increasing! Isn’t it shocking that despite the laws – the sex ratio is worsening! The govt really needs to wake up and wake up quick!!

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  2. Nice to see you on WordPress! I like your header.

    This day had to come.And it will get a lot worse, before, if at all senses are knocked into people. Watch the movie ‘matrubhoomi’ for the horror of it all. It is just crazy how people don’t understand the need for simple balance in life.

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    • all thanks to technology…
      I read the article…He writes about it in ‘Argumentative Indian’ too…I don’t see the trend reversing any time soon…Attitudes need to be changed together with law enforcement…

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  3. I don’t know how to relate this to the call of “equality” that women are giving everywhere. Some of them do not practice what they preach; quite like the dowry menace. is it not? Very disturbing news.

    So Bones, you to have joined the “Bhed Chaal” to WP?!

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    • Yes, Vinod what to do…Everybody was complaining about Intense Debate…I do like the threading system of commenting…But I must say, WP is more complicated than Blogger…

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  4. So the ‘one child’ policy of China is that the ‘only child’ should be a male. 😦

    Indian situtation is scary. I personally know some women who were asked to produce male babies as if they had the control over it. The phone calls from India were a torture for some because it seems they wanted to take the parampara forward with a male progeny. Once I told a friend to ask her MIL to name a great-grandfather of their’s. If she can’t then there is no point of this parampara talk.

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  5. I don’t think enforcing laws alone will help much Srabony, those who wish to abort a fetus will turn to quacks or they will turn to doctors who will still do it…

    The abortions are only the symptom. The cause is a much deeper – this feeling that daughters are not worth having. I feel patriarchy makes a male child appear more worthy of having. I have seen women who have sons being treated like they are more important, than those who have daughters…they are also made to feel that life for a girl and her parents is very difficult.

    But these days when I see families with daughter, I look at them with respect, because we know they refused to abort. They had that choice.

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    • I agree with you when you say attitudes need to change…I wonder if education helps because there are a lot of highly educated people who still prefer boys…

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