The War Against the Girls

Jul 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Ethics, Featured Issues

Mara Hvistendahl has written a powerful and provocative book entitled Unnatural Selection:  Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men.  She demonstrates that in China, India and other nations, there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls.  In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls.  Jonathan Last writes ?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.?  However, in India today there are 112 boys for every 100 girls born.  In China the number is 121, with some towns in China over 150!  Why this incredibly skewed ratio?  One reason?abortion.  According to Hvistendahl, there have been 163 million sex-selective abortions over the past three decades.  If the label ?modern holocaust? does not fit this statistic, I do not know what other term would!  How did this occur?  She demonstrates that in the mid-1970s amniocentesis became available in developing nations, which meant that parents could determine the sex of the baby.  When amnio was replaced by the cheaper and less invasive ultrasound, parents who wanted a boy could now choose to abort if the mother was pregnant with a girl.  Surprisingly, it was the wealthy that led the way:  ?Sex selection typically starts with the urban, well-educated stratum of society.  Elites are the first to gain access to a new technology, whether MRI scanners, smart phones?or ultrasound machines.?  Such technology when applied to sex-selection then begins to filter down to the broader culture.  A surprise to me, she demonstrates that the decision to abort girls is usually made by women?either by the mother or mother-in-law.  Amazingly, female empowerment often has produced more sex selection, not less.  In many communities, Hvistendahl shows, ?women use their increased autonomy to select for sons,? because males bring higher social status and wealth.  Female power did not produce more social righteousness, only more decadence.

What are the effects of the resulting gender imbalance that sex-selection at birth produces?  (1)  Hvistendahl shows that there is a demonstrable connection between sex ratios and violence:  ?High sex ratios mean that a society is going to have ?surplus men??that is, men with no hope of marrying because there are not enough women.  Such men accumulate in the lower classes, where risks of violence are already elevated.  And unmarried men with limited incomes tend to make trouble.  In Chinese provinces where the sex ratio has spiked, a crime wave has followed.  Today in India, the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income but sex ratio.  (2)  She also shows that high sex ratios mean that it is harder to secure a bride and men can find themselves ?buying or bidding for them.  This . . . contributes to China?s astronomical household savings rate; parents know they must save up in order to secure brides for their sons. . .  This savings rate, in turn, drives the Chinese demand for US Treasury bills.?  (3)  Furthermore, in such cultures, a young woman may actually become very valuable, providing income for their families or their pimps.  Evidence now is growing that this sex ratio change is actually producing a female underclass.  A small but significant group of women are ending up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage.  This is the modern sex-slave trade!  (4)  She also unveils a major scandal based on a series of unpleasant documents from the Ford Foundation, the United Nations and Planned Parenthood, showing how they all pushed sex-selective abortion as a means of controlling population growth.  Malcolm Potts, in 1976 the medical director of International Planned Parenthood, stated that ?Early abortion is safe, effective, cheap and potentially the easiest method to administer.?  In an interview with population doomster Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1968 classic The Population Bomb, she shows that he still believes that sex selection is a positive thing because it will keep families from having more and more children until they get a boy!!  In 1977, another Planned Parenthood official celebrated China?s coercive methods of family planning, stating that ?persuasion and motivation [are] very effective in a society in which social sanctions can be applied against those who fail to cooperate in the construction of the socialist state.?  She shows in case after case that western population advocates hailed sex-selection techniques as test-case solutions to the world?s population challenges.  As columnist Ross Douthat argues, ?. . . an unlikely alliance between Republican cold warriors who worried that population growth would fuel the spread of Communism and left-wing scientists and activists who believed that abortion was necessary for both the ?needs of women? and ?the future prosperity?or maybe survival?of mankind.??  Hvistendahl powerfully contends that the American establishment began this movement but it has now taken on a life of its own:  Sex-selection has spread inexorably with access to abortion and produced this grisly number of 160+ million girls that have been aborted.  This means that the 21st century liberal must now defend the proposition that these unborn girls were not yet humans and also likewise defend the proposition that abortion is a near absolute right.  But for me, the monstrous tragedy of what Hvistendahl has shown is scandalous.  Amazingly, she refuses to take a position of when life begins and still believes that abortion is a right.  I concur with Douthat that the bottom line of what she has uncovered is that these 160 million girls are not ?missing?; the horrific nature of what she has uncovered is that they are dead!!!!

The truly unbelievable tale that Hvistendhal tells is evidence once again of what happens when humanity tries to manipulate and control life to a predetermined end.  Population control in a culture that values males will produce, with the aid of technology, infanticide?in the form of sex-selection abortions.  Then the unintended consequences of that brutality will begin to unfold.  This is what we are seeing in our world today.  Hvistendahl shows that throughout history the ratio of boys to girls at birth has remained equal or at about 106 boys to 100 girls.  But over the last thirty years that number has skewed in favor of boys and the consequences are horrific.  We not only see the death of 160+ million girls but also the devastating consequences that I have summarized in this Perspective.  God has established a ratio that He has maintained through all of history.  Humanity has now upset that ratio with profound results.  But if God is no longer viewed as the Creator and Sustainer of life, then we are now sovereign, with the technology to control and manipulate our lives and our populations.  How are we doing?  It is abysmal.  This is perhaps the greatest holocaust in history?done in the name of population control and supported, at least at the onset, by western money and western power brokers, including the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the United Nations and Planned Parenthood.  It has now taken on a life of its own.  Collectively, the western world should hang its head in shame!  There is nothing to be proud of here.  The shame and the guilt should haunt the West as we see the social consequences permeating our world.  Once again, when man tries to take the place of God, calamity results.  When will the human race ever learn?

See Jonathan Last?s helpful review of Hvistendahl?s book in the Wall Street Journal (18-19 June 2011) and Ross Douthat in the New York Times (26 June 2011). PRINT PDF

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