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Thanks to Asians, US has got a skewed sex ratio
An analysis of the 2000 United States Census has found a son-biased sex ratio among US-born children of Indian parents, with the odds of a boy increasing if the previous offspring is a girl.
If the first is a girl, the sex ratio is 114 boys for 100 girls. The male bias is particularly evident among Indian parents when it comes to the third child: If the first two children are girls, the ratio becomes 198 boys for 100 girls.
By contrast, the sex ratios of eldest and younger children with an older brother were both within the normal range, as were white offspring sex ratios (irrespective of the elder siblings’ sex). This male bias is also seen among Chinese and Korean parents, note the study’s authors Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of Columbia University.
This finding is particularly significant since no such son bias was seen in the 1990 US census. The deviation in favour of sons has also led researchers to conclude that sex selection is being practiced in the US, most likely at the pre-natal stage.
The US has no law against pre-natal sex determination and since 2005, sexing through a blood test as early as five weeks after conception has been marketed directly to consumers in the US. Some home-testing kits like GenSelect and Gender Mentor have even found their way from the US to India. In fact, so sought after was Gender Mentor in rural Punjab that it came to be popularly known as jantar mantar. Techniques like pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) are also popular with Indians here as well as those settled in the US.
But gender testing isn’t just about painting the nursery or picking the right colour for baby clothes, it’s about aborting the unwanted foetuses. And the demographic consequences of this are evident. The all-India sex ratio is 927 girls for 1,000 boys, which puts the country right at the bottom of the global charts, worse off than countries like Nigeria (965) and neighbouring Pakistan (958).
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