Sex Selective Abortion

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Sex Selective Abortion:
The Consequences of a World Full of Men
Pavith Devarajan
World Issues
Ms. Hamilton
Nancy Campbell Collegiate Institute


A deeply-rooted practice in countries such as India and China, the act of sex-selective abortion has existed for centuries without any extraneous intervention from governments or international organizations. However, in recent years the practise has slowly started moving West, integrating into the cultures of such countries as Turkey, Russia and Uzbekistan. 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:
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. 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...
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