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Taiwan's sex ratio also rose from just above normal in 1980 to 110 in the early 1990s; it remains just below that level today.
During the same period, South Korea's sex ratio rose from just above normal to 117 in 1990—then the highest in the world—before falling back to more natural levels.
The midwife must have dropped that tiny baby alive into the slops pail!
I nearly threw myself at it, but the two policemen [who had accompanied me] held my shoulders in a firm grip.
The implication is that sex-selective abortion, not under-registration of girls, accounts for the excess of boys.
Other countries have wildly skewed sex ratios without China's draconian population controls (see chart 1).
“To my absolute horror, I saw a tiny foot poking out of the pail.
As CASS says, “the gender imbalance has been growing wider year after year.” The BMJ study also casts light on one of the puzzles about China's sexual imbalance.
How far has it been exaggerated by the presumed practice of not reporting the birth of baby daughters in the hope of getting another shot at bearing a son? If this explanation were correct, you would expect to find sex ratios falling precipitously as girls who had been hidden at birth start entering the official registers on attending school or the doctor. The sex ratio of 15-year-olds in 2005 was not far from the sex ratio at birth in 1990.
The real cause, argues Nick Eberstadt, a demographer at the American Enterprise Institute, a think-tank in Washington, DC, is not any country's particular policy but “the fateful collision between overweening son preference, the use of rapidly spreading prenatal sex-determination technology and declining fertility.” These are global trends.
And the selective destruction of baby girls is global, too.
For comparison, there are 23m boys below the age of 20 in Germany, France and Britain combined and around 40m American boys and young men.