Sex Selective Abortion
The practice continued to remain largely overlooked, until it was brought to North America by Asian and European immigrants seeking a new home in Canada and the United States. Now, sex-selective abortion has become an increasingly crucial issue in the eyes of the Canadian government; tens of millions of infant females are wrongfully killed each year, effectively skewering the sex ratio of the entire world. As more and more immigrants practicing this horrific act come to Canada, in turn the gender balance of our country has become affected as well.
While it is an undoubtedly cruel and arbitrary act, the consequences of these actions extend far beyond moral objections; Canada has begun to experience altered sex-ratios and the outcomes of these decisions have begun to make themselves clear. This research paper will examine the consequences sex-selective abortion will have not only on the population of the world, but on the economic and social factors of all nations as well. SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION Sex Selective Abortion: The Consequences of a World Full of Men The act of sex-selective abortion revolves around terminating a pregnancy solely based on the gender of the child.
Sex Selective Abortion Essay Example
This barbaric practice stems from the deeply-held cultural beliefs in Eastern countries in which male heirs are considered far more valuable than females. This way of thinking is especially apparent in Asian countries such as India and China, but as of late it has become a practise in countries all over Europe and has recently come knocking on the doors of North America, most apparently in Canada. As Asian and European families migrate to Canada, they bring with them these ancient cultural beliefs, which have been often overlooked in the past.
Because of this irrational preference for male over female heirs and recent advances in medical technology, predicting the sex of a child has become incredibly simple; this has lead to a massive spike in abortion rates all over the country and is slowly working towards altering the sex ratio of the entire world. If this practise is not outlawed entirely or severely abated in the coming years, then the social and economic consequences on the entire world will be severe and plentiful. Assets versus Liabilities
Although this practise may seem unnecessarily cruel, it replaced a previous procedure that was far more horrific. Before the current advancements in technology were made, there was no way to determine the gender of a baby before it was born. Therefore, the practice of infanticide was implemented; families would murder the baby shortly after it was born if it were a female, or else abandon it and leave it to die. This shocking act occurred primarily in countries such as India and China, but quickly spread to other countries in the Caucasus including, but not limited to: Russia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
The sex-selective abortion of females occurs in countries such as these, because their culture involves putting much more value on a male heir as opposed to a female one. Males are considered “assets” because they are able to work and receive a dowry when they get married, while females are considered “liabilities” because they often work at home, generating no income for their family. Gupta (2005), observed that between the 1980s and 1990s in China, sex-selective abortion was noticeably absent in families with a first-born male child. In fact, in families with more han one son, male infants were more likely to be aborted than females; however, in families with one or more female children, all future female infants were likely to be aborted. Skewered Sex Ratios As can be expected, the mass-murder of millions of infant girls started to affect the gender ratios in the countries practicing this act. In an ideal situation, the ratio of boys born to girls born should remain at 105:100. This accounts for males generally dying earlier owing to various factors such as sickness and wars, and would result in a generally balanced level of males to females.
However, as a result of sex-selective abortion, the new expected sex ratio around the world is 107:100. While this may not seem like a significant difference, but when one takes into account that tens of thousands of infants are born each day, the displacement of all the aborted females becomes apparent. The following charts communicate a visual display of the millions of “missing” females around the world: Table 1 Excessive Female Deaths These figures are absolutely appalling; as is clear, roughly 1. million females died in 2008 in Africa – however, very few perished at birth. If we examine the figures from China and India, they account for more than 1. 3 million infant females deaths in 2008 alone. If we apply these figures to the past three decades, taking into account that ultrasound technology has gained more precedence in that time, a conclusion can be drawn that an astonishing 39 million female deaths can be accounted to sex-selective abortion practises in China and India alone.
While these figures are just a rough estimate as census reports are not one hundred percent accurate and the number of female infant deaths may vary from year to year, this presumed number is still incredibly shocking and makes the issue of sex-selective abortion extremely apparent. Economic Consequences While the millions of families all over the globe practise sex-selective abortion and infanticide in the hopes that they will bring some sense of honour to their family, in reality this issue is not simply one of misguided morals.
As it turns out, there are numerous detrimental effects to the world economy in areas with a male majority population, the first being that males are much more likely to fall into debt. Men accosting a male-biased sex ratio are less likely to save if they are not with a female partner, more likely to take on massive credit card debts, and as a result will be more willing to take on undesirable financial deals in order to secure their financial security.
Research conducted at The University of Minnesota shows that men are more likely to compete with each other for a potential mate by showing off their financial resources; this may include spending more frivolously, taking greater financial risks by purchasing items they may not be able to afford and discernibly consuming other items. While one may make the assumption that more spending would be better for the economy overall, if these men are not able to pay off their debts they would be forced to default or declare bankruptcy, resulting in a further deficit in the national money supply.
The following chart displays a study conducted in which students were given a theoretical situation in which they had $2000 to spend; they could choose how much to spend on superficial items, and how much to set aside for savings: Table 2 Willingness to Incur Debt based on Sex Ratios According to this chart, men were much more likely to borrow money if there was a male-biased sex ratio, leading them even further into debt. Social Consequences
Throughout our history, men have been responsible for vast numbers of crimes, more noticeably violent crimes. In particular, single men in countries such as India and China where status depends on your marital and financial situation are more prone to committing these types of crime. In the past 20 years, the crime rate among young single men in China has doubled – with crimes against women such as bride abduction, trafficking of women, rape and prostitution becoming especially apparent. In a study conducted by Edlund et. l, the skewered rates of sex ratios directly affected the rising rate of such crimes; they accounted for roughly one-seventh of all violent crimes in China. However, violence is not the only social consequence of skewered sex ratios. In China, suicide rates among females between the ages of 15-34 are at an all-time high; more often than not, these women can not bear the fact that they had to abort or kill their infant daughters. In most cases, the decision to practise sex-selective abortion or infanticide is initiated by the males of the family.
This cultural belief is then brought over when families immigrate to Canada and are continued here, even though human rights laws in Canada are much different than those in countries where sex-selective abortion is typically practised. The social unrest that has started in these countries is sure to arrive in Canada and laws must be set in order to prevent such atrocities from occurring. One solution mentioned by several advocates for the eradication of sex-selective abortion is to prevent ultrasound screening past a certain point.
Advances in medical technology have made it possible for doctors to predict the sex of the fetus as early as seven weeks; if this law were put into place, then it would be impossible for families to decide on an abortion solely based on the gender of the child. While the practise of sex-selective abortion has been out for centuries and has become an integral part of the culture in Asian and European countries, it is ultimately a cruel and senseless act. As Canadian society becomes more dependent on immigrants, our country is becoming host to individuals from far-ranging nations.
Since many cultures favor the birth of a male child to that of a female child, the practice of sex-selective abortion is more widely accepted in other nations than it is in Canada. In India, for example, the practice of sex-selective abortion has already caused the national sex ratio to become skewed. Unfortunately, many immigrants do not necessarily abandon this mindset when they come to Canada, and they utilize the information disclosed during their pre-natal screenings to engage in sex-selective abortion.