In this weekend’s edition of the Wall Street Journal I happened to come across an article written by Matt Ridley called “The Mounting Tragedy of Missing Baby Girls“. The article quickly summarizes a growing problem in the global community; specifically, the ‘girl deficit’. In a nutshell, the natural human “sex ratio” (the percentage of boys relative to girls) is being dangerously skewed by the preference for males. This is particularly true in China, some portions of India, and other emerging Asian nations where sex-selective abortions have risen in popularity quite dramatically.
This is not a particularly new phenomenon, but it’s one I happened to write about last year for a political science class. I focused on the geopolitical/security implications of China’s “one child policy”, but also touched on related issues. You can read my entire paper here, I think it does a pretty good job explaining the horrific future consequences of cultural trends like this one.
One of the books I mentioned in the paper is called “Bare Branches” by Valerie Hudson and Andrea den Boer. They take a position similar to Ridley’s. Another book I reference is called “Unnatural Selection” by Mara Hvistendahl. This one takes a slightly different stance and, in my opinion, suffers from almost terminal political correctness. Hvistendahl’s obstinate refusal to blame the easy availability of abortion for the “missing girls” lessens to impact of her argument. In the end she does acknowledge that male preference will ultimately harm these Asian societies, agreeing with the thesis brought about by Hudson and den Boer.
This issue has hugely important moral and national security implications. It is one of the most significant human rights issues of our era and deserves more attention. Kudos to Ridley for using his pulpit to raise his readers’ consciousness.