|Part of a series on|
Sex-selective abortion is the practice of terminating a pregnancy based upon the predicted sex of the baby. The selective abortion of female fetuses is most common in areas where cultural norms value male children over female children, especially in parts of People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, the Caucasus, and Southeast Europe.
Sex-selective abortion affects the human sex ratio — the relative number of males to females in a given age group. Studies and reports focusing on sex-selective abortion are predominantly statistical; they assume that birth sex ratio — the overall ratio of boys and girls at birth for a regional population, is an indicator of sex-selective abortion. This assumption has been questioned by some scholars. Scholars who support the assumption suggest that the expected birth sex ratio range is 103 to 107 males to females at birth. Countries considered to have significant practices of sex-selective abortion are those with birth sex ratios of 108 and above (selective abortion of females), and 102 and below (selective abortion of males). See list of countries by sex ratio.
Ross Douthat claims over 160 million females have been prevented from being born in Asia through sex selective abortion.
- 1 Prenatal sex discernment
- 2 Human sex ratio at birth
- 3 Prevalence
- 4 Reasons for sex-selective abortion
- 5 Societal effects
- 6 Sex-selective abortion in the context of abortion
- 7 Laws and initiatives against sex-selective abortion
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Prenatal sex discernment
The earliest post-implantation test, cell free fetal DNA testing, involves taking a blood sample from the mother and isolating the small amount of fetal DNA that can be found within it. When performed after week seven of pregnancy, this method is about 98% accurate.
Obstetric ultrasonography, either transvaginally or transabdominally, checks for various markers of fetal sex. It can be performed at or after week 12 of pregnancy. At this point, 3⁄4 of fetal sexes can be correctly determined, according to a 2001 study. Accuracy for males is approximately 50% and for females almost 100%. When performed after week 13 of pregnancy, ultrasonography gives an accurate result in almost 100% of cases.
The most invasive measures are chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and amniocentesis, which involve testing of the chorionic villus (found in the placenta) and amniotic fluid, respectively. Both techniques typically test for chromosomal disorders but can also reveal the sex of the child and are performed early in the pregnancy. However, they are often more expensive and more dangerous than blood sampling or ultrasonography, so they are seen less frequently than other sex determination techniques.
Human sex ratio at birth
Human sex ratio at birth for a region is the ratio of boys and girls born per year in a given regional population. In a 2002 study, the natural sex ratio at birth was estimated to be close to 106 boys to 100 girls. Human sex ratio at birth that is significantly different from 106 is often assumed to be correlated to the prevalence and scale of sex-selective abortion. This assumption is controversial, and a subject of continuing scientific studies.
High or low human sex ratio implies sex-selective abortion
One school of scholars suggest that any birth sex ratio of boys to girls that is outside of the normal 105-107 range, necessarily implies sex-selective abortion. These scholars claim that both the sex ratio at birth and the population sex ratio are remarkably constant in human populations. Significant deviations in birth sex ratios from the normal range can only be explained by manipulation, that is sex-selective abortion. In a widely cited article, Amartya Sen compared the birth sex ratio in Europe (106) and United States (105) with those in Asia (107+) and argued that the high sex ratios in East Asia, West Asia and South Asia may be due to excessive female mortality. Sen pointed to research that had shown that if men and women receive similar nutritional and medical attention and good health care then females have better survival rates, and it is the male which is the genetically fragile sex. Sen estimated 'missing women' from extra women who would have survived in Asia if it had the same ratio of women to men as Europe and United States. According to Sen, the high birth sex ratio over decades, implies a female shortfall of 11% in Asia, or over 100 million women as missing from the 3 billion combined population of South Asia, West Asia, North Africa and China.
High or low human sex ratio may be natural
- there are equal numbers of X and Y chromosomes in mammalian sperms
- X and Y stand equal chance of achieving conception
- therefore equal number of male and female zygotes are formed, and that
- therefore any variation of sex ratio at birth is due to sex selection between conception and birth.
James cautions that available scientific evidence stands against the above assumptions and conclusions. He reports that there is an excess of males at birth in almost all human populations, and the natural sex ratio at birth is usually between 102 to 108. However the ratio may deviate significantly from this range for natural reasons such as early marriage and fertility, teenage mothers, average maternal age at birth, paternal age, age gap between father and mother, late births, ethnicity, social and economic stress, warfare, environmental and harmonal effects. This school of scholars support their alternate hypothesis with historical data when modern sex-selection technologies were unavailable, as well as birth sex ratio in sub-regions, and various ethnic groups of developed economies. They suggest that direct abortion data should be collected and studied, instead of drawing conclusions indirectly from human sex ratio at birth.
Lopez and Ruzikah (1983) found that, when given the same resources, women tend to outlive men at all stages of life after infancy. However, globally, resources are not always allocated equitably. Thus, some scholars argue that disparities in access to resources such as healthcare, education, and nutrition play at least a small role in the high sex ratios seen in some parts of the world (Klasen and Wink 2003). For example, Alderman and Gerter (1997) found that unequal access to healthcare is a primary cause of female death in developing nations, especially in Southeast Asia. Moreover, in India, lack of equal access to healthcare has led to increased disease and higher rates of female mortality in every age group until the late thirties (Sen 1990). This is particularly noteworthy because, in regions of the world where women receive equal resources, women tend to outlive men (Sen 1990).
High or low sex ratio may be due to disparate gendered access to resources
Disparate, gendered access to resources appears to be strongly linked to socioeconomic status. Specifically, poorer families are sometimes forced to ration food, with daughters typically receiving less priority than sons (Klasen and Wink 2003). However, Klasen’s 2001 study revealed that this practice is less common in the poorest families, but rises dramatically in the slightly less poor families. Klasen and Wink’s 2003 study suggests that this is “related to greater female economic independence and fewer cultural strictures among the poorest sections of the population.” In other words, the poorest families are typically less bound by cultural expectations and norms, and women tend to have more freedom as family breadwinners. 
Increased sex ratios can be caused by disparities in aspects of life other than vital resources. According to Sen (1990), differences in wages and job advancement also have a dramatic effect on sex ratios. This is why high sex ratios are sometimes seen in nations with little sex-selective abortion.  Additionally, high female education rates are correlated with lower sex ratios (World Bank 2011).
Finally, it should be noted that economic disadvantage alone does not always lead to increased sex ratio. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa (one of the most economically disadvantaged regions of the world), there is actually an excess of women. So, if economic disadvantage is correlated with a shortage of women, it must be noted that some other social factor(s) is at play as well. 
Despite these possible causes of abnormal sex ratio, extensive research has shown that India and China’s high sex ratios are primarily the result of sex-selective abortion (Klasen and Wink 2003).
Data on human sex ratio at birth
In the United States, the sex ratios at birth over the period 1970–2002 were 105 for the white non-Hispanic population, 104 for Mexican Americans, 103 for African Americans and Native Indians, and 107 for mothers of Chinese or Filipino ethnicity. Among Western European countries c. 2001, the ratios ranged from 104 to 107. In the aggregated results of 56 Demographic and Health Surveys in African countries, the birth sex ratio was found to be 103, though there is also considerable country-to-country, and year-to-year variation.
In a 2005 study, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported sex ratio at birth in the United States from 1940 over 62 years. This statistical evidence suggested the following: For mothers having their first baby, the total sex ratio at birth was 106 overall, with some years at 107. For mothers having babies after the first, this ratio consistently decreased with each additional baby from 106 towards 103. The age of the mother affected the ratio: the overall ratio was 105 for mothers aged 25 to 35 at the time of birth; while mothers who were below the age of 15 or above 40 had babies with a sex ratio ranging between 94 to 111, and a total sex ratio of 104. This United States study also noted that American mothers of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Cuban and Japanese ethnicity had the highest sex ratio, with years as high as 114 and average sex ratio of 107 over the 62 year study period. Outside of United States, European nations with extensive birth records, such as Finland, report similar variations in birth sex ratios over a 250 year period, that is from 1751 to 1997 AD.
In 2013, according to CIA estimates, some countries with high birth sex ratio were Liechtenstein (126), Curacao (115), Azerbaijan (113), Armenia (112), China (112), India (112), Vietnam (112), Georgia (111), Albania (111), Grenada (110), San Marino (109), Taiwan (109), Jersey (108), Kosovo (108), Macedonia (108) and Singapore (108). Low boys to girls birth sex ratios in 2013 were estimated by CIA for Haiti (101), Barbados (101), Bermuda (101), Cayman Islands (102), Qatar (102), Kenya (102), Malawi (102), Mozambique (102), South Africa (102) and Aruba (102).
The estimates for birth sex ratios, and thus derived sex-selective abortion, are a subject of dispute as well. For example, United States' CIA projects the birth sex ratio for Switzerland to be 106, while the Switzerland's Federal Statistical Office that tracks actual live births of boys and girls every year, reports the latest birth sex ratio for Switzerland as 107. Other variations are more significant; for example, CIA projects the birth sex ratio for Pakistan to be 105, United Nations FPA office claims the birth sex ratio for Pakistan to be 110, while the government of Pakistan claims its average birth sex ratio is 111.
The two most studied nations with high sex ratio and sex-selective abortion are China and India. The CIA estimates a birth sex ratio of 112 for both in recent years. However, The World Bank claims the birth sex ratio for China in 2009 was 120 boys for every 100 girls; while United Nations FPA estimates China's 2011 birth sex ratio to be 118. For India, the United Nations FPA claims a birth sex ratio of 111 over 2008-2010 period, while The World Bank and India's official 2011 Census reports a birth sex ratio of 108. These variations and data reliability is important as a rise from 108 to 109 for India, or 117 to 118 for China, each with large populations, represent a possible sex-selective abortion of about 100,000 girls.
Before the collapse of Soviet Union in early 1990s, the birth sex ratio in Caucasus countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia was in the 105 to 108 range. After the collapse, the birth sex ratios sharply climbed and have remained high for the last 20 years. In Christian Armenia and Islamic Azerbaijan currently more than 115 boys are born for every 100 girls, while in Christian Georgia the birth sex ratio is about 120, a trend claims The Economist that suggest sex-selective abortion practice in Caucasus has been similar to those in East Asia and South Asia in recent decades.
For 2005-2010 birth data, the sex ratio in Armenia is seen to be a function of birth order. Among couples having their first child, Armenia averages 138 boys for every 100 girls every year. If the first child is a son, the sex ratio of the second child of Armenian couple averages to be 85. If the first child is a daughter, the sex ratio of the second Armenian child averages to be 156 boys for 100 girls. Overall, the birth sex ratio for in Armenia exceeds 115, far higher than India's 108, claim scholars. While these high birth sex ratios suggest sex-selective abortion, there is no direct evidence of observed large scale sex-selective abortions in Caucasus.
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (November 2013)|
When sex ratio began being studied in China in 1960, it was still within the normal range. However, it climbed to 111.9 by 1990 and 118 by 2010. Researchers believe that the causes of this sex ratio imbalance are increased female infant mortality, underreporting of female births and sex-selective abortion. According to Zeng et al. (1993), the most prominent cause is probably sex-selective abortion, but this is difficult to prove that in a country with little reliable birth data because of the hiding of “illegal” (under the One-Child Policy) births. These illegal births have led to extensive underreporting of female infants. However, they are eventually accounted for, as they must be registered for immunizations, education, etc. (To avoid the issue of underreporting, many studies use the sex ratio for those age 20 and younger.)
Traditional Chinese techniques have been used to determine sex for hundreds of years, primarily with unknown accuracy. It was not until ultrasonography became widely available in urban and rural China that sex was able to be determined scientifically. In 1986, the Ministry of Health posted the Notice on Forbidding Prenatal Sex Determination, but it was not widely followed. Three years later, the Ministry of Health outlawed the use of sex determination techniques, except for in diagnosing hereditary diseases. However, many people have personal connections to medical practitioners and strong son preference still dominates culture, leading to the widespread use of sex determination techniques. According to Hardy, Gu, and Xie (2000), ultrasound has spread to all areas of China, as evidenced by the spread of the high sex ratio throughout the country.
Additionally, Hardy, Gu, and Xie argue that although ultrasonography is available everywhere, sex-selective abortion is more prevalent in rural China because son preference is much stronger there. Urban areas of China, on average, are moving toward greater equality for both sexes, while rural China tends to follow more traditional views of gender. This is partially due to the belief that, while sons are always part of the family, daughters are only temporary, going to a new family when they marry. Additionally, if a woman’s firstborn child is a son, her position in society moves up, while the same is not true of a firstborn daughter.
In the past, desire for a son was manifested by large birth rates—many couples would continue to have children until they had a son. However, the combination of financial concerns and, more importantly, the One-child policy (discussed further below) have led to an increase in gender planning and selection. Even in rural areas, most women know that ultrasonography can be used for gender discernment. For each subsequent birth, Junhong found that women are over 10% more likely to have an ultrasound (39% for firstborn, 55% for second born, 67% for third born). Additionally, he found that the sex of the firstborn child impacts whether a woman will have an ultrasound in her subsequent pregnancies: 40% of women with a firstborn son have an ultrasound for their second born child, versus 70% of women with firstborn daughters. This points to a strong desire to select for a son if one has not been born yet.
Because of the lack of data about childbirth, a number of researchers have worked to learn about abortion statistics in China. One of the earliest studies by Qui (1987) found that according to cultural belief, fetuses are not thought of as human beings until they are born, leading to a cultural preference for abortion over infanticide. In fact, infanticide and infant abandonment are rather rare in China today. Instead, Junhong found that roughly 27% of women have an abortion. Additionally, he found that if a family’s firstborn was a girl, 92% of known female would-be second born fetuses were aborted.
In a 2005 study, Zhu, Lu, and Hesketh found that the highest sex ratio was for those ages 1–4, and two provinces, Tibet and Xinjiang, had sex ratios within normal limits. Two other provinces had a ratio over 140, four had ratios between 130-139, and seven had ratios between 120-129, each of which is significantly higher than the natural sex ratio.
Variance in the restrictive nature of childbearing laws has led to three types of provinces.
Type one is the most restrictive:
- 40% of couples are allowed a second child
- Second child is only allowed if the firstborn is female
These provinces tend to be wealthier and more educated, and many parents have a pension to take care of them, eliminating the need for a son. Therefore, they have medium sex ratios and Winckler (2002) found that traditional gender preferences are changing toward more equality.
Type two provinces are less restrictive than type one:
- Everyone with a firstborn daughter is allowed a second child
- Parents with a documented hardship (as determined by a local official) are allowed a second child
These provinces tend to have more traditional structure and agriculturally-based economy, causing a need for a son. Therefore, sex ratio is highest in type two provinces.
Finally, type three provinces are the least restrictive:
- Everyone is allowed a second child, regardless of the firstborn’s gender
- Some are allowed a third child
These provinces are often poor and underpopulated and tend to neither have a preference for sons nor believe in abortion, resulting in the lowest sex ratios.
Based on the relationship between type of province and sex ratio, many researchers believe making type two provinces into type one or three could dramatically lower the sex ratio.
Families in China are aware of the critical lack of female children and it’s implication on marriage prospects in the future; many parents are beginning to work extra when their sons are young so that they will be able to pay for a bride for them.
In 2005, 1.1 million of excess males were born in China. Many males between the ages of 28 and 49 are unable to find a partner and thus remain unmarried. Currently, the gap between male-to-female birth ratios in China has decreased to 117 males born for every 100 females.
China’s government has increasingly recognized its role in reduction of the national sex ratio. As a result, since 2005, it has sponsored a “boys and girls are equal campaign.” For example, in 2000, the Chinese government began the “Care for Girls” Initiative. Furthermore, several levels of government have been modified to protect the “political, economic,cultural, and social” rights of women. Finally, the Chinese government has enacted policies and interventions to help reduce the sex ratio at birth. In 2005, sex-selective abortion was made illegal in China. This came in response to the ever-increasing sex ratio and a desire to try to detract from it and reach a more normal ratio.  The sex ratio among firstborn children in urban areas from 2000-2005 didn’t rise at all, so there is hope that this movement is taking hold across the nation.
||The neutrality of this section is disputed. (November 2013)|
Abortions have been a popular medical procedure in India for quite some time, but the first law regarding abortion was not passed until 1971. This law, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, made abortion legal in most states, but specified "acceptable" reasons for abortion, physicians who can provide the procedure, and the facilities they can be performed.[relevant? ] (Acceptable reasons included the pregnancy posing a serious risk to the mother, serious physical or mental disability of the fetus, the pregnancy being the result of a rape, etc.) Since the act was passed, more abortions have been performed illegally than legally for a variety of reasons, including cost, availability, "incorrect" reasons for abortion, desire for secrecy, etc. In 1996, Khan, Barge, and Philip estimated that of the 5-6 million abortions performed per year in India, 90% were performed illegally.
India’s second National Family Health Survey (NFHS-2), which compiled data from 1998-1999, found that, nationally, 2% of pregnancies ended in induced abortion, with higher rates in 25 of 26 states than found in the first survey (NFHS-1). However, many studies of the survey hypothesize that this number is a low estimate, as the full number of induced abortions was probably not reported (because of the number of abortions performed illegally). A sign of data inaccuracy was that the NFHS-2 showed higher rates of spontaneous abortion than NFHS-1. However, spontaneous abortions are primarily biologically and environmentally based, so they should not increase significantly over time. As a result, researchers have created higher estimates; Arnold, Kishor, and Roy believe that approximately 4.7% of Indian pregnancies ended in induced abortion in 2002.
Techniques for determining sex prenatally first became available in the early 1970s and quickly gained popularity. These techniques spread through most of the country very rapidly and today are typically available from mobile units (such as traveling ultrasound vans), although they have been banned for the purposes of sex determination since 1995. Sudha and Rajan (1999) found that sex determination techniques are sometimes packaged together with abortions and are often marketed as being cheaper in the long run, saving the family from a large dowry in the future, should the fetus be female. Although the Indian government and various female advocacy groups have tried to prevent sex selection, it remains a significant issue nationwide. There is evidence that such bans are rarely enforced and that numerous dedicated sex selection clinics operate in many regions of India. India’s prime minister has stated that gendercide is a national shame and its secretary of health and family welfare has acknowledged that the country has not been aggressive enough in combating it. Women's rights activists allege that the laws are not being enforced because the police and judiciary believe in and may even practice gendercide themselves. Moreover, there has been significant debate within India regarding the morality of sex selection. For example, there are arguments for sex selection which say that prenatal discrimination is more humane than postnatal discrimination, though there is little evidence that prenatal discrimination has any positive effect on postnatal discrimination; women are not necessarily held in higher regard if they are fewer in number.
India’s 2001 census revealed a national sex ratio of 107.8, up from 105.8 in the 1991 census. Because this number is an average, it masks even more dramatic numbers in certain states—Punjab’s ratio was 126.1, Haryana’s ratio was 122, and Gujarat’s ratio was 113.9, each of which represents a dramatic increase. Arnold, Kishor, and Roy hypothesize that this rapid increase was due to increased availability of sex determination techniques. In fact, Ganatra et al. (2000) found that 1⁄6 of all reported abortions followed a sex determination test. However, this alone does not show causation between sex determination testing and high sex ratios. Researchers also analyzed sex ratios in women who had undergone an induced abortion in the pregnancy just before their most recent live birth. This revealed a sex ratio of 158.0 in Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, significantly higher than rates elsewhere in the country. Moreover, these states have very high ultrasonography use and women in these states with no sons are more likely to have an ultrasound than women with at least one son. In Haryana, the sex ratio for babies born from mothers who had ultrasounds performed is 186.3, pointing to widespread sex determination among this population. This shows correlation between induced abortion and high sex ratios, probably pointing to the use of sex determination techniques.
India’s 2001 census found that the majority of southern states have a sex ratio at or approaching 105, the widely accepted “natural ratio.” In general, wealthier southern states have had sex ratios closer to 105 for quite some time. Gujarat, one of the states of interest with very high sex ratios in 2001, now has a child sex ratio around 112.8, an improvement since 2001 but not since 1991. Punjab, another state of interest, now has a child sex ratio of approximately 118.2, a small improvement since 2001. Finally, Haryana’s 2011 child sex ratio was 120.4, reflecting little improvement since 2001.
Overall, it is estimated that 6.4% of pregnancies with a female fetus are aborted, leading to a loss of approximately 106,000 female infants per year.
According to Eurostat and birth record data over 2008-2011, the birth sex ratios of Albania and Montenegro are currently 112 and 110 respectively. In recent years, the birth registration data for Macedonia and Kosovo indicate birth sex ratios above 108; for example, in 2011 the birth sex ratio was 108 in Macedonia, while in 2010 the birth sex ratio for Kosovo was 112. Scholars claim this suggests that sex-selective abortions are becoming common in southeast Europe.
Like in other countries, sex-selective abortion is difficult to track in the United States because of lack of data. However, based on the sex ratios in the United States, it is certainly rare for the population overall. Abrevaya (2009) found that among firstborn children in the U.S., the sex ratio is the normal 102-106 males per 100 females. However, he also found that among some Korean, Chinese, and Indian parents with one daughter, the sex ratio is 117 and when they have two daughters, the ratio is 151.
While the majority of parents in United States do not practice sex-selective abortion, there is certainly a trend toward male preference. According to a 2011 Gallup poll, if they were only allowed to have one child, 40% of respondents said they would prefer a boy, while only 28% preferred a girl. When told about prenatal sex selection techniques such as sperm sorting and in vitro fertilization embryo selection, 40% of Americans surveyed thought that picking embryos by sex was an acceptable manifestation of reproductive rights. These selecting techniques are available at about half of American fertility clinics, as of 2006.
However, it is notable that minority groups that immigrate into the United States bring their cultural views and mindsets into the country with them. A study carried out at a Massachusetts infertility clinic shows that the majority of couples using these techniques, such as Preimplantation genetic diagnosis came from a Chinese or Asian background. This is thought to branch from the social importance of giving birth to male children in China and other Asian countries.
Because of this movement toward sex preference and selection, many bans on sex-selective abortion have been proposed at the state and federal level. In 2010 and 2011, sex-selective abortions were banned in Oklahoma and Arizona, respectively. Legislators in Georgia, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York have also tried to pass acts banning the procedure.
A 2013 study by John Bongaarts based on surveys in 61 major countries calculates the sex ratios that would result if parents had the number of sons and daughters they want. In 35 countries, claims Bongaarts, the desired birth sex ratio in respective countries would be more than 110 boys for every 100 girls if parents in these countries actually get a gender what they hope for (higher than India’s, which The Economist claims is 108).
Abnormal sex ratios at birth, possibly explained by growing incidence of sex-selective abortion, have also been noted in some other countries outside South and East Asia. According to the 2011 CIA World Factbook, countries with more than 110 males per 100 females at birth also include Albania and former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan. A 2005 study estimated that over 90 million females were "missing" from the expected population in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea and Taiwan alone, and suggested that sex-selective abortion plays a role in this deficit. India's 2011 census shows a serious decline in the number of girls under the age of seven - activists believe eight million female fetuses may have been aborted between 2001 and 2011.
Sex-selection practices also occur among some South Asian immigrants in the United States: A study of the 2000 United States Census observed definite male bias in families of Chinese, Korean and Indian immigrants, which was getting increasingly stronger in families where first one or two children were female. In those families where the first two children were girls, the sex ratio of the third child was observed to be 1.51:1 in favor of boys.
Regions showing improvement in sex ratio
In his 1990 study, Sen points out many ways that women can gain agency, noting employment (especially employment that is seen by their household as valuable), education, and property rights. Over the last 20 years, there has been some global progress in moving toward a more normal (natural) sex ratio. For example, in North and West Africa, female mortality has dropped and advancement has risen in the last two decades. This is thought to be caused by an overall increase in resources (leading to less rationing of resources) and increased female education and employment.
Reasons for sex-selective abortion
Some research suggests that culture plays a larger role than economic conditions in gender preference and sex-selective abortion, because such deviations in sex ratios do not exist in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Demographers argue that perceived gender imbalances may arise from the underreporting of female births, rather than sex-selective abortion or infanticide.
The reason for intensifying sex-selection abortion in China and India can be seen through history and cultural background. Generally, before the information era, male babies were preferred because they provided manual labor and success the family lineage. Labor is still important in developing nations as China and India, but when it comes to family lineage, it is of great importance. The selective abortion of female fetuses is most common in areas where cultural norms value male children over female children. A son is often preferred as an "asset" since he can earn and support the family; a daughter is a "liability" since she will be married off to another family, and so will not contribute financially to her parents. The patriarchal structure of a society is the single most important factor skewing the sex ratio in favor of males, accentuated in some cultures by the burden of raising a dowry for a daughter's marriage. Openness to the very concept of sex selection is a significant factor: among societies which practice selective female abortion nowadays, many were systematically practicing female infanticide (either directly or by withholding postnatal care from children of undesirable sex) long before abortion became a viable option. Furthermore, in some cultures sons are expected to take care of their parents in their old age. In modern East Asia, a large part of the pattern of preferences leading to this practice can be condensed simply as a desire to have a male heir. Monica Das Gupta (2005) observes that, in late 1980s to early 1990s China, there was no evidence of selective abortion of female fetuses among firstborn children, or in families with one or more existing sons (in fact, families with multiple sons were, if anything, more likely to abort a boy than a girl). But, at the same time, families with existing daughters appeared very likely to abort any further female fetuses, resulting in heavily skewed sex ratios.
In many of the countries where there are high rates of sex-selective abortion, there are also high rates of sex-based inequality. India, which has one of the highest rates of sex-selective abortion in the world, has also recently been plagued with news reports about high rates of rape, as well as a lack of police interference or investigation after a rape has been reported. As well as acts of physical violence against women, they generally have a lower status in society, receiving less education and fewer, or lower paid jobs than men. This further reduces their status within society, because it results in dependence on men.
Also, males are viewed as an economic asset in a poorer household, for they help with work on farms, they will take care of their parents as they age, and they do not require a dowry for marriage.
Many feminists argue, however, that this boils down to do objectification of female bodies, and the view that women are less important than men. Sex-selective abortion, therefore, can be seen as an extension of sexism within these cultures. It is determining that one gender (generally male) is more worthy of life than the other. Many feminists also argue that sex-selective abortion exacerbates sexism, because it validates the idea that people can deprive someone of life simply for being a woman. This results in a vicious cycle, where sexism fuels the need for a male line, and sex-selective abortion endorses the superiority of men.
Following the 1949 creation of the People's Republic of China, the issue of population control came into the national spotlight. In the early years of the Republic, leaders believed that telling citizens to reduce their fertility was enough, repealing laws banning contraception and instead promoting its use. However, the contraceptives were not widely available, both because of lack of supply and because of cultural taboo against discussing sex. Efforts were slowed following the famine of 1959-1961 but were resumed shortly thereafter with virtually the same results. Then, in 1964, the Family Planning Office was established to enforce stricter guidelines regarding fertility and it was moderately successful.
In 1980, Chairman Mao Zedong instituted the One-Child Policy, which limits many families to one child, unless specified by provincial regulations. It was instituted as an attempt to boost the Chinese economy. Under it, families who break rules regarding the number of children they are allowed are given various punishments (primarily monetary), dependent upon the province in which they live.
As stated above, the sex ratios of a province are largely determined by the type of restriction placed upon the family, pointing to the conclusion that much of the imbalance in sex ratio in China can be attributed to the policy. Research by Junhong (2001) found that many parents are willing to pay to ensure that their child is male (especially if their first child is female), but will not do the same to ensure their child is female. Likely, fear of the harsh monetary punishments of the One-Child Policy make ensuring a son’s birth a smart investment. Therefore, son’s cultural and economic importance to families and the large expenses associated with multiple children are primary factors leading to China’s disparate sex ratio.
In 2013, China announced plans to formally change the One-Child policy, making it less stringent. The National People’s Congress has changed the policy to allow couples to have two children, so long as one of the partners is an only child. This change was not sparked by sex ratios, but rather by an aging population that is causing the workforce to grow increasingly smaller. It is estimated that this new law will lead to two million more births per year and could cause a baby boom in China. Unfortunately, many of China’s social problems are based on overpopulation. So, it is unclear if this new law will actually lead to women being more valued in Chinese society as the number of citizens increases. 
The Trivers–Willard hypothesis argues that available resources affect male reproductive success more than female and that consequently parents should prefer males when resources are plentiful and females when resources are scarce. This has been applied to resource differences between individuals in a society and also to resource differences between societies. Empirical evidence is mixed with higher support in better studies according to Cronk in a 2007 review. One example, in a 1997 study, of a group with a preference for females was Romani in Hungary, a low status group. They "had a female-biased sex ratio at birth, were more likely to abort a fetus after having had one or more daughters, nursed their daughters longer, and sent their daughters to school for longer."
Gender-linked genetic abnormalities, such as several forms of colorblindness, are linked to recessive genes on the X chromosome. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis can identify some life-threatening genetic abnormalities in embryo. The easiest way to select against embryos which may have a gender-linked genetic abnormality is to choose only female embryos. Embryos which are not implanted are usually discarded.
The idea of “missing women” was first suggested by Amartya Sen, one of the first scholars to study high sex ratios and their causes globally, in 1990. In order to illustrate the gravity of the situation, he calculated the number of women that were not alive because of sex-selective abortion or discriminatory practices. He found that there were 11 percent fewer women than there “should” have been, if China had the natural sex ratio. This figure, when combined with statistics from around the world, led to a finding of over 100 million missing women. In other words, by the early 1990s, the number of missing women was “larger than the combined casualties of all famines in the twentieth century” (Sen 1990).
This has led to particular concern due to a critical shortage of wives. In some rural areas, there is already a shortage of women, which is tied to migration into urban areas (Park and Cho 1995). In South Korea and Taiwan, high male sex ratios and declining birth rates over several decades have led to cross-cultural marriage between local men and foreign women from countries such as mainland China, Vietnam and the Philippines. However, sex-selective abortion is not the only cause of this phenomenon; it is also related to migration and declining fertility.
Trafficking and sex work
Some scholars argue that as the proportion of women to men decreases globally, there will be an increase in trafficking and sex work (both forced and self-elected), as many people will be willing to do more to obtain a sexual partner (Junhong 2001). Already, there are reports of women from Vietnam, Myanmar, and North Korea systematically trafficked to mainland China and Taiwan and sold into forced marriages. Moreover, Ullman and Fidell (1989) suggested that pornography and sex-related crimes of violence (i.e., rape and molestation) would also increase with an increasing sex ratio.
As Park and Cho (1995) note, families in areas with high sex ratios that have mostly sons tend to be smaller than those with mostly daughters (because the families with mostly sons appear to have used sex-selective techniques to achieve their “ideal” composition). Particularly in poor areas, large families tend to have more problems with resource allocation, with daughters often receiving fewer resources than sons. Blake (1989) is credited for noting the relationship between family size and childhood “quality.” Therefore, if families with daughters continue to be predominantly large, it is likely that the social gap between genders will widen due to traditional cultural discrimination and lack of resource availability.
Guttentag and Secord (1983) hypothesized that when the proportion of males throughout the world is greater, there is likely to be more violence and war. 
Potential positive effects
Some scholars believe that when sex ratios are high, women actually become valued more because of their relative shortage. Park and Cho (1995) suggest that as women become more scarce, they may have “increased value for conjugal and reproductive functions” (75). Eventually, this could lead to better social conditions, followed by the birth of more women and sex ratios moving back to natural levels. This claim is supported by the work of demographer Nathan Keifitz. Keifitz (1983) wrote that as women become fewer, their relative position in society will increase. However, to date, no data has supported this claim. 
It has been suggested by Belanger (2002) that sex-selective abortion may have positive effects on the mother choosing to abort the female fetus. This is related to the historical duty of mothers to produce a son in order to carry on the family name. As previously mentioned, women gain status in society when they have a male child, but not when they have a female child. Oftentimes, bearing of a son leads to greater legitimacy and agency for the mother. In some regions of the world where son preference is especially strong, sonless women are treated as outcasts. In this way, sex-selective abortion is a way for women to select for male fetuses, helping secure greater family status. 
Goodkind (1999) argues that sex-selective abortion should not be banned purely because of its discriminatory nature. Instead, he argues, we must consider the overall lifetime possibilities of discrimination. In fact, it is possible that sex-selective abortion takes away much of the discrimination women would face later in life. Since families have the option of selecting for the fetal sex they desire, if they choose not to abort a female fetus, she is more likely to be valued later in life. In this way, sex-selective abortion may be a more humane alternative to infanticide, abandonment, or neglect. Goodkind (1999) poses an essential philosophical question, “if a ban were enacted against prenatal sex testing (or the use of abortion for sex-selective purposes), how many excess postnatal deaths would a society be willing to tolerate in lieu of whatever sex-selective abortions were avoided?” 
Sex-selective abortion in the context of abortion
Many scholars have noted the difficulty in reconciling the discriminatory nature of sex-selective abortion with the right of women to have control over their own bodies. This conflict manifests itself primarily when discussing laws about sex-selective abortion. Weiss (1995:205) writes: “The most obvious challenge [sex-selective abortion] represents for pro-choice feminists is the difficulty of reconciling a pro-choice position with moral objections one might have to [sex selective abortion] (especially since it has been used primarily on female fetuses), much less the advocacy of a law banning [sex-selective abortion].”  As a result, arguments both for and against sex-selective abortion are typically highly reflective of one’s own personal beliefs about abortion in general. Warren (1985:104) argues that there is a difference between acting within one’s rights and acting upon the most morally sound choice, implying that sex-selective abortion might be within rights but not morally sound. Warren also notes that if we are to ever reverse the trend of sex-selective abortion and high sex ratios, we must work to change the patriarchy-based society which breeds the strong son preference. 
Laws and initiatives against sex-selective abortion
In 1994 over 180 states signed the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, agreeing to "eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child". In 2011 the resolution of PACE's Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men condemned the practice of prenatal sex selection.
On the state level, laws against sex-selective abortions have been passed in a number of US states; the law passed in Arizona in 2011 prohibits both sex-selective and race-selective abortion.
In popular culture
- The Manish Jha film, Matrubhoomi-A Nation Without Women (2003), depicts a future dystopia in a village in India, populated exclusively by males due to female infanticide, and which is reduced to barbarianism.
- Goodkind, Daniel (1999). "Should Prenatal Sex Selection be Restricted?: Ethical Questions and Their Implications for Research and Policy". Population Studies 53 (1): 49–61. doi:10.1080/00324720308069. JSTOR 2584811.
- A. Gettis, J. Getis, and J. D. Fellmann (2004). Introduction to Geography, Ninth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. pp. 200. ISBN 0-07-252183-X
- HIGH SEX RATIO AT BIRTH IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE Christophe Z Guilmoto, CEPED, Université Paris-Descartes, France (2012)
- Kumm, J.; Laland, K. N.; Feldman, M. W. (December 1994). "Gene-culture coevolution and sex ratios: the effects of infanticide, sex-selective abortion, sex selection, and sex-biased parental investment on the evolution of sex ratios". Theoretical Population Biology 43 (3; number 3): 249–278. doi:10.1006/tpbi.1994.1027. PMID 7846643.
- Gammage, Jeff (June 21, 2011). "Gender imbalance tilting the world toward men". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- James W.H. (July 2008). "Hypothesis:Evidence that Mammalian Sex Ratios at birth are partially controlled by parental hormonal levels around the time of conception". Journal of Endocrinology 198 (1): 3–15. doi:10.1677/JOE-07-0446. PMID 18577567.
- Report of the International Workshop on Skewed Sex Ratios at Birth United Nations FPA (2012)
- Kraemer, Sebastian. "The Fragile Male." British Medical Journal (2000): n. pag. British Medical Journal. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
- Douthat, Ross (June 26, 2011). "160 Million and Counting". The New York Times.
- Devaney SA, Palomaki GE, Scott JA, Bianchi DW (2011). "Noninvasive Fetal Sex Determination Using Cell-Free Fetal DNA". JAMA 306 (6): 627–636. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1114. PMID 21828326.
- Roberts, Michelle (10 August 2011). "Baby gender blood tests 'accurate'". BBC News Online.
- Mazza V, Falcinelli C, Paganelli S, et al. (June 2001). "Sonographic early fetal gender assignment: a longitudinal study in pregnancies after in vitro fertilization". Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 17 (6): 513–6. doi:10.1046/j.1469-0705.2001.00421.x. PMID 11422974.
- Alfirevic Z, von Dadelszen P (2003). "Instruments for chorionic villus sampling for prenatal diagnosis". In Alfirevic, Zarko.Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD000114.doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000114
- Grech, V; Savona-Ventura, C; Vassallo-Agius, P (2002). "Unexplained differences in sex ratios at birth in Europe and North America". BMJ (Clinical research ed.) (BMJ, NCBI/National Institutes of Health) 324 (7344): 1010–1. PMC 102777. PMID 11976243.
- Therese Hesketh and Zhu Wei Xing, Abnormal sex ratios in human populations: Causes and consequences, PNAS, September 5, 2006, vol. 103, no. 36, pp 13271-13275
- Klausen, Stephan and Claudia Wink. "Missing Women: Revisiting the Debate" Feminist Economics 9 (2003): 263-99.
- Sen, Amartya (1990), More than 100 million women are missing, New York Review of Books, 20 December, pp. 61–66
- James WH (1987). "The human sex ratio. Part 1: A review of the literature". Human Biology 59 (5): 721–752. PMID 3319883. Retrieved August 2011.
- James WH (1987). "The human sex ratio. Part 2: A hypothesis and a program of research". Human Biology 59 (6): 873–900. PMID 3327803. Retrieved August 2011.
- MARIANNE E. BERNSTEIN (1958). "Studies in The Human Sex Ratio 5. A Genetic Explanation of the Wartime Secondary Sex Ratio". American Journal of Human Genetics 10 (1): 68–70. PMC 1931860. PMID 13520702.
- France MESLÉ, Jacques VALLIN, Irina BADURASHVILI (2007). A Sharp Increase in Sex Ratio at Birth in the Caucasus. Why? How?. Committee for International Cooperation in National Research in Demography. pp. 73–89. ISBN 2-910053-29-6.
- JAN GRAFFELMAN and ROLF F. HOEKSTRA, A Statistical Analysis of the Effect of Warfare on the Human Secondary Sex Ratio, Human Biology, Vol. 72, No. 3 (June 2000), pp. 433-445
- R. Jacobsen, H. Møller and A. Mouritsen, Natural variation in the human sex ratio, Hum. Reprod. (1999) 14 (12), pp 3120-3125
- T Vartiainen, L Kartovaara, and J Tuomisto (1999). "Environmental chemicals and changes in sex ratio: analysis over 250 years in finland". Environmental Health Perspectives 107 (10): 813–815. doi:10.1289/ehp.99107813. PMC 1566625. PMID 10504147.
- World Bank, Engendering Development, The World Bank, (2001)
- Matthews TJ, et al. (June 2005). "Trend Analysis of the Sex Ratio at Birth in the United States". National Vital Statistics Reports 53 (20).
- "Sex ratio in Switzerland". Switzerland Federal Statistics Office.
- "UN Sex Ratio Statistics". United Nations Population Division.
- "Sex ratio at birth (per 100 female newborn)". United Nations Data Division.
- Demographic and Health Survey
- Garenne M (December 2002). "Sex ratios at birth in African populations: a review of survey data". Hum. Biol. 74 (6): 889–900. doi:10.1353/hub.2003.0003. PMID 12617497.
- "Trend Analysis of the Sex Ratio at Birth in the United States". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics.
- "Sex Ratio, The World Factbook, CIA, US Government (2013); Note: Sex ratio of 1.26 is same as 126 boys per 100 girls".
- Births and deliveries Switzerland (2013)
- Sex Ratios, Christophe Z Guilmoto, UNFPA (2011), Page 13
- Sex ratio at birth - National and Regional Census Data Pakistan Census (2013)
- Gender Imbalance: Pakistan's Missing Women Dawn, Pakistan (2013);
- Abandoned, Aborted, or Left for Dead: These Are the Vanishing Girls of Pakistan, HABIBA NOSHEEN & HILKE SCHELLMANN, June 19, 2012, The Atlantic
- The Consequences of the "Missing Girls" of China, Avraham Y. Ebenstein and Ethan Jennings Sharygin (2009), THE WORLD BANK ECONOMIC REVIEW, VOL. 23, NO. 3, page 401, Oxford University Press
- Sex Imbalances at Birth: Current trends, consequences and policy implications United Nations FPA (August 2012)
- Gendercide in the Caucasus The Economist (September 13, 2013)
- India Census 2011 Provisional Report Government of India (2013)
- France MESLÉ, Jacques VALLIN, Irina BADURASHVILI (2007). A Sharp Increase in Sex Ratio at Birth in the Caucasus. Why? How?. Committee for International Cooperation in National Research in Demography. pp. 73–89. ISBN 2-910053-29-6.
- Michael, M; King, L; Guo, L; McKee, M; Richardson, E; Stuckler, D (2013), The mystery of missing female children in the Caucasus: an analysis of sex ratios by birth order, International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health, 39 (2), pp. 97-102, ISSN 1944-0391
- John Bongaarts (2013), The Implementation of Preferences for Male Offspring, Population and Development Review, Volume 39, Issue 2, pages 185–208, June 2013
- Junhong, Chu. "Prenatal Sex Determination and Sex-Selective Abortion in Rural Central China." Population and Development Review 27.2 (2001): 259-81. JSTOR. Web. 2 Nov. 2013. <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2695209?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102861301427>.
- Kang C, Wang Y. Sex ratio at birth. In: Theses Collection of 2001 National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Survey. Beijing: China Population Publishing House, 2003:88-98.
- ZengYietal. 1993."Causes and implications of the recent increase in the reported sex ratio at birthin China," Population and DevelopmentReview19(2): 283-302.
- Ministry of Health and State Family Planning Commission.1986. "Notice on strictly forbidding prenatal sex determination," reprinted in Peng Peiyun(ed.), 1997,Family Planning Encyclopedia of China. Beijing: China Population Press,p. 939.
- Ministry of Health. 1989. "Urgent notice on strictly forbidding the use of medical technology to perform prenatal sex determination," reprinted in Peng Peiyun (ed.), 1997,Family Planning Encyclopedia of China. Beijing: China Population Press, pp. 959-960.
- Hardee,Karen,Gu Baochang,and Xie Zhenming. 2000. "Holding up more than half the sky:Fertility control and women's empowerment in China,"paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association o f America, 23–25 March, Los Angeles.
- Qiu Renzong.1987.Life Ethics Shanghai:ShanghaiPeople'sPress
- Junhong, Chu. 2000. "Study on the quality of the family planning program in China,"paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America,23–25 March, Los Angeles.
- Zhu, W., L. Lu, and T Hesketh. "China’s Excess Males, Sex Selective Abortion, and One Child Policy: Analysis of Data from 2005 National Intercensus Survey." British Medical Journal (2009): n. pag. JSTOR. Web. 2 Nov. 2013. <http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/20512658?uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102861713637>.
- Winckler, Edwin A. "Chinese Reproductive Policy at the Turn of the Millennium: Dynamic Stability." Population and Development Review 28.3 (2002): 379-418.
- "China sees decrease in male to female birth ratio gap." China.org.cn, March 21, 2012. Retrieved on Nov.19 2013 from http://www.china.org.cn/video/2012-03/31/content_25036729.htm
- Song, Jian. 2009. "Rising sex ratio at birth in China: responses and effects of social policies." <http://iussp2009.princeton.edu/papers/91145>
- "'Care For Girls' Gaining Momentum." 'Care For Girls' Gaining Momentum. China Daily, 07 Aug. 2004. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
- ”China Makes Sex-Selective Abortions a Crime.” Reproductive Health Matters 13.25 (2005): 203. JSTOR. Web. 30 March 2014. <http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rice.edu/stable/pdfplus/3776292.pdf?acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true>.
- "Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 - Introduction." Health News RSS. Med India, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
- Khan, M. E., Sandhya Barge, and George Philip. 1996. "Abortion in India: An overview". Social Change 26:208–225.
- International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)and ORCMacro. 2000. NationalFamilyHealthSurvey(NFHS-2),1998-99:India.Mumbai:IIPS.
- Arnold, Fred, Kishor, Sunita, & Roy, T. K. (2002). "Sex-Selective Abortions in India". Population and Development Review 28 (4): 759–785. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2002.00759.x. JSTOR 3092788.
- Rutherford, R., and T. K. Roy. "Factors Affecting Sex-selective Abortion in Indian and 17 Major States." International Institute for Population Sciences and Honolulu: East-West Center (2003): n. pag. Print.
- "Sex selection".
- Sudha, S. and S. Irudaya Rajan. 1999. "Female demographic disadvantage in India 1981- 1991: Sex selective abortions and female infanticide," Development and Change 30: 585- 618.
- "Gender selection: In India, abortion of girls on the rise".
- "Sex selection in India exaggerated: doctors". CBC News. January 11, 2006.
- "Disappearing Daughters: Women Pregnant With Girls Pressured Into Abortions". Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Kumar, Dharma. 1983. "Male utopias or nightmares?" Economic and Political Weekly 13(3):61-64.
- Gangoli, Geetanjali. 1998. "Reproduction, abortion and women's health," SocialScientist 26(11-12): 83-105.
- Goodkind, Daniel. 1996. "On substituting sex preference strategies in East Asia: Does pre- natalsexselectionreducepostnataldiscrimination?"PopulationandDevelopmenRte- view22(1): 111-125.
- Goodkind, Daniel.1999. "Should prenatal sex selection be restricted? Ethical questions and their implications for research and policy," PopulationStudies53(1): 49-61.
- Ganatra,Bela, R. 2000. "Abortionresearch in India:What we know, and what we need to know," in Radhika Ramasubban and Shireen J. Jejeebhoy (eds.), Women's Reproductive Health in India. New Delhi: Rawat Publications.
- Maps of India. "Gujarat Sex Ratio." India Census 2011. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
- Maps of India. "Punjab Sex Ratio." India Census 2011. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
- Maps of India. "Haryana Sex Ratio." India Census 2011. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2013.
- Sex Imbalances at Birth: Current trends, consequences and policy implications United Nations FPA (August 2012), see page 23
- Stump, Doris (2011), Prenatal Sex Selection, Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Council of Europe
- Verropoulou and Tsimbos (2010), Journal of Biosocial Science, vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 425-430.
- Abrevaya, Jason. "Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1.2 (2009): 1-34.
- Newport, Frank. "Americans Prefer Boys to Girls, Just as They Did in 1941." Gallup, 23 June 2011. Web. 2 Nov. 2013.
- Jesudason, Sujatha, and Anat Shenker-Osorio. "The Atlantic." The Atlantic. N.p., 31 May 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
- "Half Fertility Clinics Allow Parents to Pick Gender." Msnbc.com. Associated Press, 20 Sept. 2006. Web. 03 Nov. 2013.
- Savior Siblings: Is PGD Being Regulated?. (2009, June 29). Savior Siblings. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from http://ourethicaljourney09.blogspot.ca/2009/06/is-big-brother-watching-pgd-regulations.html
- Layout 1
- Pandey, Geeta (May 23, 2011). "India's unwanted girls". BBC News. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
- Roberts, Sam (June 15, 2009). "U.S. Births Hint at Bias for Boys in Some Asians". The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
- Johansson, Sten; Nygren, Olga (1991). "The missing girls of China: a new demographic account". Population and Development Review 17 (1): 35–51. doi:10.2307/1972351. JSTOR 1972351.
- Merli, M. Giovanna; Raftery, Adrian E. (2000). "Are births underreported in rural China?". Demography 37 (1): 109–126. doi:10.2307/2648100. JSTOR 2648100. PMID 10748993.
- Das Gupta, Monica, "Explaining Asia's Missing Women": A New Look at the Data", 2005
- Mahalingam, R. (2007). "Culture, ecology, and beliefs about gender in son preference caste groups". Evolution and Human Behavior 28 (5): 319–329. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.01.004.
- Barry,Ellen."Gang Rape in India, Routine and Invisible".The New York Times, October 26, 2013. Retrieved on Dec.5,2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/world/asia/gang-rape-in-india-routine-and-invisible.html?_r=0.The New York Times.
- Lewis,Abbey."Sex-selective Abortion, it's more Complex than You Think". Feminspire, n.d. Retrieved Dec. 5, 2013 from http://feminspire.com/sex-selective-abortions-its-more-complex-than-you-think/
- Henneberger, S. "China's One-Child Policy." : History. N.p., 2007. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.
- "History of the One-Child Policy." All Girls Allowed, 2013. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.
- “China’s one-child policy to change in the new year.” The Independent, December 29, 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014. <http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/chinas-onechild-policy-to-change-in-the-new-year-9028601.html>.
- Cronk, L. (2007). "Boy or girl: Gender preferences from a Darwinian point of view". Reproductive BioMedicine Online 15: 23–32. doi:10.1016/S1472-6483(10)60546-9. PMID 18088517.
- Park,Chai Bin and Nam-Hoon Cho. 1995. "Consequences of son preference in a low- fertility society:Imbalance of the sex ratio at birth in Korea,"Population and Development Review21(1): 59-84.
- Onishi, Norimitsu (February 22, 2007). "Korean Men Use Brokers to Find Brides in Vietnam". The New York Times.
- Last, Jonathan V. (June 24, 2011). "The War Against Girls". The Wall Street Journal.
- Ullman, Jodie and Linda Fidell. 1989. "Gender selection and society," " in Joan Offerman- Zuckerberg (ed.), Gender in Transition: A New Frontier. New York: Plenum Medical Book Company, pp. 179-187.
- Blake, Judith. 1989. Family Size and Achievement. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Guttentag, M and P Secord. “Too Many Women? The Sex Ratio Question.” Sage Publications. 1983.
- Keifitz, Nathan. Forword. In: Bennett NG, editor. Sex selection of children. New York: Academic Press; 1983. p. xi-xiii.
- Belanger, Daniele. “Sex-selective abortions: short-term and long-term perspectives.” Reproductive Health Matters 10.19(2002): 194-197. JSTOR. Web. 30 March 2014. <http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rice.edu/stable/pdfplus/3775793.pdf?acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true>.
- Weiss, Gail. “Sex-Selective Abortion: A Relational Approach.” Hypatia 10.1(1995):202-217. JSTOR. Web. 30 March 2014. <http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rice.edu/stable/pdfplus/3810465.pdf?acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true>.
- Warren, Mary Ann. “Gendercide: The Implications of Sex-Selection.” Rowman and Allenheld. 1985.
- "Preventing gender-biased sex selection". UNFPA. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- "Prenatal sex selection". PACE. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
- Jones, Natasha. "MP takes aim at sex selection". The Langley Times. Retrieved October 6, 2012.
- Mark Kennedy, MP continues push for sex-selection abortions vote after motion rejected, Postmedia News, 2013-03-26
- "House debates abortion ban for sex of fetus". CNN Online. May 31, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (May 31, 2012). "House Rejects Bill to Ban Sex-Selective Abortions". New York Times. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
- Christie, Bob (2013-05-29). "Arizona Race And Sex-Selective Abortion Ban Draws ACLU Lawsuit".
- "HB 2443: An Act amending Title 13, Chapter 36, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 13-3603.02; ....".
- "Arizona Revised Statutes, 13-3603.02. Abortion; sex and race selection; injunctive and civil relief; failure to report; definition".
- "Matrubhoomi (2003)". New York Times.
- A conference held in Singapore in December 2005 on female deficit in Asia
- Sex Selection at Birth; Statistics Singapore Newsletter, Vol 17 No.3 January 1995
- MSNBC - No Girls Please - In parts of Asia, sexism is ingrained and gender selection often means murder
- Surplus Males and US/China Relations
- A Dangerous Surplus of Sons? - An analysis of various studies of the lopsided sex ratios in Asian countries
- Case study: Female Infanticide in India and China
- Working paper by Emily Oster linking sex ratio imbalances to hepatitis B infection
- S2 China Report - China: The Effects of the One Child Policy
- Notification on Addressing in a Comprehensive Way the Issue of Rising Sex Ratio at Birth a UNESCAP document
- A collection of essays on sex selection in various Asian countries by Attané and Guilmoto
- Five case studies and a video on sex selection in Asia by UNFPA
- NPR, All Things Considered, India Confronts Gender-Selective Abortion, March 21, 2006
- Book Review: Unnatural Selection - The War Against Girls / WSJ.com