Sunday, July 18, 2004

skewed sex ratios

i was watching CNN's "in the money" earlier today - they had a feature who's description reads "Many countries are now seeing a scary population imbalance with boys outnumbering girls by a widening margin. Find out why this is a dangerous trend." - referring to skewed sex ratios in the two most populous countries in the world - China and India. The basis for this story is a recent book co-authored by a professor of political science at BYU named Valerie Hudson titled "Bare Branches - here is a review of the book by The Wall Street Journal. this ties in with earlier posts on Atanu Dey's Deeshaa blog on the issue of population control. There was a particular post in which Atanu points out that neglect of the female child is worse than the abortion of a female foetus simply for reasons that it is female.

hudson seems to be talking mostly of china and not india (although some of the arguments do apply - i have myself not read the book, but am relying on hudson's interview in the CNN program and the WSJ review of the book. enforcing of the "single child" policy has resulted in couples who are more eager for a son choosing to abort foetuses if they are female (india seems to be no different). the reasons for favoring a male offspring over a female one are primarily social, influenced by economic factors - the reasons that the WSJ review describes seem to be very similar to those prevailing in india. that this domination of numbers by males will lead to a propensity of violence through "gang formation" sounds a bit hokey. but here is what the rediff article says can result due to an imbalance:
What of those, though, who can't find a bride?

With high unemployment in the north and frustrated young men hanging around street corners, more crimes against women are being committed.

'Violence against women is rising. We'll have more unnatural practices, such as brothers sharing a wife. In a few years, no woman will be safe. There will be abductions and rapes, even of minors. Even married women won't be safe,' says Dr B S Dahiya, a government official in Haryana who is battling illegal sex determination tests.
how then can the skewness be mended - or further skewing controlled? is an increase in education level changing ages old social beliefs and practices about male and female offsprings? i am not quite sure .....

No comments: