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Extent of sex selection in India is “extraordinary”


Summary of story from the Guardian, cialis July 22 2011

Half a million girls a year are being aborted in India, equal to the total number of girls born in the UK.

The scale of sex selection in Asia is extraordinary, yet it has not attracted the attention it deserves in the west (see WVoN coverage).

This is the age of “missing women” – an estimated 30 to 70 million of them. The number of girls born has dropped significantly because of sex selective abortions, and the sex imbalance has been aggravated by higher mortality rates as boys receive better care.

The very vagueness of the figures indicates how poorly understood this massive phenomenon is – quite apart from the still limited analysis of the impact the resulting sex imbalance will have on the development of countries such as India and China.

In May, there was widespread concern in India as the results of the 2011 census revealed a sharp deterioration of the sex ratio.

Many attributed the growing gap to a powerful lobby of doctors and commercial interests who sell ultrasound machines; both make profits from the illegal, multimillion dollar sex selection procedures.

An ultrasound scan costs the equivalent of £10, a small amount relative to the cost of a dowry expected with a girl.

Even for less well-off families, a sex-selective abortion may seem cost effective, according to a study by Sonia Bhalotra, from the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) at Bristol University, published in the summer issue of its Research in Public Policy bulletin.

But what is particularly interesting about her analysis is that the practice is more strongly established in the better off areas of India than the poorer rural areas.

This challenges assumptions that the practice is driven by traditional customs. In fact, it is the wealthy and better educated who are most likely to choose sons, perhaps because they want to keep their families small.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    Ah ha – this is one for Barry. Can’t wait to hear his explanation for why aborting half a million female babies is all a feminist plot – or maybe its just propoganda like the Holocaust was for the Jews … oh hang on a minute, it’s women that are to blame as they are the ones that are doing the aborting … silly me, I forgot. That’s sarcasm Barry, similar to joking but lower down the humour scale …

    • But why aren’t we all weeping and wailing about the billions of boys disadvantaged by this? Or something. 😉 Just attempting to stand in until Barry notices this story and wanders over here.

      More seriously, the point about it being a middle-class and up thing – it may cost £10 for a scan but that’s still a cost, I’m not all that surprised that it is the more relatively wealthy families who pay. They will also have an expectation of their children surviving to marriageable age and so they will be anticipating a dowry for their daughters (if I remember rightly dowries were outlawed too, although of course just outlawing something rarely stops it).

      I imagine it might depend on the standing of the pregnant woman in the family too what is done about an undesirable pregnancy. Abortions cost money too after all.

    • Barry Mayor says:

      Awwww. . . Y’all missed me. Sorry, I have to show up to work every now and then.

      ALL abortions are travesties, be they male or female. The hypocrisy of feminism is that they aggressively promote freedom to abort for any reason the woman sees fit. But, then when girls are disproportionately affected, suddenly the object to THAT reason. Which is it? By contrast, when boys are victims of whatever, their silence is deafening and revealing of their indifference.

      • I really don’t miss you.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Are you a single parent Barry? Have you ever considered what it would be like to be one in a country where single female parents are described in the media as scroungers and bad parents, incapable of doing anything worth reporting that doesn’t involve sex, drugs or abusive behaviour? And the absent father – I do not see the institutional vitriol directed at them and their desertion of contraception and desertion of their subsequent children. So yes, there are plenty of reasons for abortion, speaking as a person who has undergone one, but most of them involve violence or desertion on the part of the father (1 in 3 cases of dom violence start when a woman is pregnant), rape, genetic abnormality etc. There are younger women that use it as contraception but as with men that rape, they are not statistically the norm yet.

        • Barry Mayor says:

          Am I a single parent? Of all the mistakes I’ve made, that’s not one of them. Thankfully.

          “And the absent father – I do not see the institutional vitriol directed at them and their desertion of contraception and desertion of their subsequent children.”

          So, you never heard the term “dead-beat dad?”

          Do you know the main difference between a so-called dead-beat dad and a woman who chose an abortion? The law allowed her to opt out of being a parent but did not allow him that same choice. Why are you FOR forcing men to become parents against their will but AGAINST forcing women to become parents against theirs? I thought feminism was about equality? Evidently not. If you were pro-equality, you would be in favor of giving men post-conception choice, just as women have.

          “1 in 3 cases of dom violence start when a woman is pregnant.”

          Either you are ignorant of the facts or you’re simply lying due to a victim mentality. Because 50% of DV is female on male.

          The vast majority of abortions are for convenience. If you want, I can cite statistics from none other than the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute – or you can find it yourself and get acquainted with some facts for a change.

          • vicki wharton says:

            I haven’t heard of the term dead beat dad – but that’s probably because I don’t live in the US Barry. Likewise figures for domestic violence I use come from Women’s Aid in the UK, not US figures. And even if in the US 50% of the violence is female on male, it doesn’t preclude the fact that a third of male on female violence starts when a women says she’s pregnant. As for the Guttmacher Institute – I guess this is from the States again? Quoting figures from your country of birth doesn’t make me a liar Barry, but the fact that you instantly jump to that conclusion reveals alot about how you regard people with a different experience than yours.

          • Jane Osmond says:

            ‘Am I a single parent? Of all the mistakes I’ve made, that’s not one of them. Thankfully.’

            I beg your pardon? As a single parent myself I do not see this as a mistake, and I object to this statement vehemently. Please apologise.

          • Dead beat dad is an Americanism I believe. Not in current use in my part of the world.

            Give us your evidence, Barry. I’m going to have to accuse you of making it up if you keep coming up with extraordinary statements like ‘50% of DV is female on male’ with absolutely no evidence. Also ‘The vast majority of abortions are for convenience’. Show us your working, Barry, or I’ll never believe you.

            Also your comment about becoming a single parent being a ‘mistake’, that’s insulting. It also shows you up, again, as a judgemental person.

          • Barry Mayor says:

            Jane – I meant no offense to single parents. I respect them. However, (evidently you disagree and I respect that) I believe that mothers are important, and that children are better off with a mother than without one. So, for me at least, it would have been a mistake to try to raise my two daughters without a mother.

          • Barry Mayor says:

            Halla and vicki – I don’t spout statistics I cannot support.

            vicki – do a google search on “deadbeat dad” from the UK. You will get almost 1.4 million hits.

            Regarding reasons for abortion: The Guttmacher Institute is the largest abortion research and advocacy organization on the planet. It is strongly pro-abortion, so they put abortion is a very positive light. Their statistics are based on worldwide abortions, not just the US. Here is what THEY say about the reasons for abortion. Facts, not wild statements.


            Regarding female on male DV being at least 50% of all DV, here is a study of 282 academic studies on domestic violence.


            The bottom line is that women hit, shove, and push men as or more of than men do the same to women. We see it on TV constantly, backed up by laugh tracks. The difference is that it’s not taken seriously; women don’t get arrested NEARLY as often for hitting a man as a men do for hitting women. As a result, arrest and criminal statistics don’t reflect what is really happening behind closed doors.

  2. vicki wharton says:

    The lack of outrage at the sheer scale of this femicide says all that’s needed to know about females lack of human status in the eyes of world leaders.

    • I wish there was an option to recommend comments. I agree, Vicki.

      And no problem, Alison. 🙂

  3. vicki wharton says:

    V interesting – have tried to post two comments at the bottom of the article in the Guardian making the comparison between ethnic cleansing and gender cleansing in v moderate language, both of which have been suppressed. Is this anyone else’s experience too? Compared with some of the other comments I couldn’t see anything offensive about what I’d said apart from the act itself.

    • They haven’t appeared or they’ve been removed? Seems an interesting point to make, wonder why they’d stop you making it?

  4. vicki wharton says:

    They were removed … Seems like some people cannot bear the comparison or its potential implications I guess?

    • Sounds like it. I’d love to hear their reasoning behind the removal, that in itself would be a good discussion.

      • vicki wharton says:

        I have written a complaint asking for an explanation as to why their moderator is suppressing discussion on the scale of the removal of females from the population base.

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