Voices For Life

Voices for Life is an e-publication dedicated to informing and educating the public on pro-life and pro-family issues. We cover issues from conception until natural death, as well as all family life issues.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Study Finds Sex-Selective Abortion Does Not Decrease with Assimilation

"My husband said that I must give him a son…If not, I will have to get an abortion because he does not want another daughter."


By Jonathan Abbmonte
Population Research Institute


In some South and East Asian cultures, a strong emphasis on male heirs has led to strong son preference and the practice of sex-selective abortion. Women, girls, and females yet unborn continue to suffer the drastic consequences of extreme son preference, including physical or verbal abuse from family members or spouses for women who fail to produce a son or abort their unborn daughters.

The toll son preference has had on unborn girls has been staggering. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates that some 117 million girls are now missing across Asia and Eastern Europe due to the practice of sex-selective abortion.

Demographers have long been aware that some immigrants living in the West from South and East Asian countries continue to practice sex-selective abortion even after relocating. It has been widely assumed that son preference diminishes by itself over time with assimilation, decreasing the longer immigrant couples have resided in their new home countries.

But a new study released last week by the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada shows that heavily male-biased sex ratios at birth do not improve the longer some immigrant women have lived in Canada.

In the study, singleton birth records were analyzed for nearly 47,000 Indian-Canadian women living in Ontario from 1993-2014. Among Indian-Canadian women overall, sex-selection generally did not become apparent until the third birth, and only if the previous two births were girls.


[1] But for women at parity 3 with two prior female births, researchers found that almost twice as many boys (1.92; 95% CI 1.73-2.12) were born for every girl.[2] Sex ratios at birth overall also tended to be slightly biased toward males at parity 2 when the first birth was also male.[3] Normal sex ratios at birth, without sex-selective abortion, typically range from about 1.03 to 1.07 boys for every girl.
“Certain women are forced to bear the burden of backward cultural attitudes on son preference prevalent in their former home countries,” Mosher says, “these women deserve our compassion and support so that they are not pressured into a scenario where they believe that they have to surrender their rights and the very lives of their unborn daughters to satisfy an unjust cultural standard. Sex-selective abortion is unacceptable regardless of who practices it or the motives for it.”
Population Research report continues

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