Friday, April 27, 2007
Early this year, the British medical journal Lancet estimated the male-female gap at 43 million with 100 million "missing girls" who should have been born but were not. Fifty million would have been Chinese and 43 million would have been Indian. The rest would have been born in Afghanistan, South Korea, Pakistan, and Nepal. . . .
What is fueling this crisis? Eberstadt credits the "freakish" ratios to the "fateful collision" between (a) overweening son preference, (b) the use of rapidly spreading prenatal sex determination technology coupled with gender-based abortion, and (c) the low or dramatically declining fertility levels.
Even if we set aside the moral horror of a world that is killing its daughters, this oft-ignored trend of female feticide could pose a greater threat than many of the high-profile concerns that are touted by the media. For instance, the Chinese government says that by the year 2020--only thirteen years from now--the men in that country will outnumber women by 300 million. Imagine hordes of men, numbering in the hundreds of millions, who will never be able to have sexual contact with a woman, never be able to marry, and never leave a descendant to carry on their lineage.