What else would you call a phenomenon that has resulted in the death of 163 million women, specifically targeted for their sex?
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.
Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120.
What is causing the skewed ratio: abortion. If the male number in the sex ratio is above 106, it means that couples are having abortions when they find out the mother is carrying a girl. By Ms. Hvistendahl’s counting, there have been so many sex-selective abortions in the past three decades that 163 million girls, who by biological averages should have been born, are missing from the world. Moral horror aside, this is likely to be of very large consequence.
Marriage tends to settle a man, inculcate him with responsibilities and ensure his productive contributions to society. The prospect of 163 million unmarriageable males roaming the lower classes – for economic reasons, this is where they will tend to accumulate – has immense potential for social mischief.
Malthusians may well rejoice, but there is a not so very well hidden irony in feminism’s triumph of a “woman’s right to choose,” is there not? That choice has led in the event to the absence of nearly 200 million women from the world who would otherwise have been born of biological necessity.