Mara Hvistendahl's Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys To Women

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Having the power to choose whether to give birth to a boy or girl is a very powerful and disturbing tool. In the book, Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl, she tells a story about places like China, Vietnam, and India who are aborting female infants because “Males are the dominate gender.” The general research question of this study is to figure out why this is happening without looking at this as a “culture” issue, but as a universal gender imbalance phenomenon. Throughout the book, Hvistendahl talks about different stories of women who decided to get an abortion. The mind blowing part of all of this is that they truly believe they are helping their country with controlling…show more content…
In each chapter of the book she interviews different people that somehow intertwine to the abortion issue. Each title of the chapter tells you what point of view that she will be talking about. (“The Demographer”, “The Parent”, “The Feminist” etc.) At one point, Hvistendahl uses statistics as a way to explain how extreme the ratio of boys to girls over in China and India are. In chapter One, Hvistendahl talks to a French demographer, Christophe Guilmoto who is interested in the sex ratio of Boys to Girls in countries in Asia and throughout Europe. In the book it explains “In 2005 he calculated that if Asia’s overall sex ratio were normal, the continent would have an additional 163 million females. Ultrasound and abortion, in other words, had contributed to claiming over 160 million potential women and girls in Asia alone (Hvistendahl 2011).” 160 million women is more than the entire female population of the United States. That statistic is astounding to me and is a very large problem that I don’t think these countries imagined or are ready…show more content…
Free trade relates to this issue because there’s an international trade with purchasing ultrasounds which results into figuring out the sex of the baby and aborting the baby if it’s a female. The global environment also relates to trading from the emergence of multinational corporations. Some scholars such as Steger that we have read for class, would agree with her findings that the start of multinational corporations possibly could affect the abortion rates. These multinational corporations controlled much of the world’s investment capital, technology, and access to international markets (Steger 2013). These corporations potentially have the power in sell ultrasounds over to these countries to figure out the sex of the child. Protectionism contributes to the abortion issue because there could be import tariffs, quotas, and possible subsidies or tax cuts to these doctors that are giving these abortions to women in these various countries. Since China has such a strong One-Child Policy, the country could be giving doctors tax reductions or benefits to help control the population. Cultural homogenization can be involved in the abortion issue from the integration of different cultures and countries contributing to the significant decrease in the female population. One culture may look at another culture and repeat the same

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