historic abortion rates in korea

on one of my posts about the gender imbalance issue in china and india (and other places), cinnamon asked about south korea. i replied that i didn’t know anything about gender imbalance in south korea — and i still don’t — but here’s a related story from back-in-the-day when everyone was worried about population control which, according to mara hvistendahl, is when sex selection abortions started to get out of hand. from hvistendahl in foreign policy:

“In South Korea, Western money enabled the creation of a fleet of mobile clinics — reconditioned U.S. Army ambulances donated by USAID and staffed by poorly trained workers and volunteers. Fieldworkers employed by the health ministry’s Bureau of Public Health were paid based on how many people they brought in for sterilizations and intrauterine device insertions, and some allege Korea’s mobile clinics later became the site of abortions as well. By the 1970s, recalls gynecologist Cho Young-youl, who was a medical student at the time, ‘there were agents going around the countryside to small towns and bringing women into the [mobile] clinics. That counted toward their pay. They brought the women regardless of whether they were pregnant.’ Non-pregnant women were sterilized. A pregnant woman met a worse fate, Cho says: ‘The agent would have her abort and then undergo tubal ligation.’ As Korea’s abortion rate skyrocketed, Sung-bong Hong and Christopher Tietze detailed its rise in the Population Council journal Studies in Family Planning. By 1977, they determined, doctors in Seoul were performing 2.75 abortions for every birth — the highest documented abortion rate in human history.”

east asians really like to do a thing thoroughly, don’t they?

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a “new” form of dysgenesis?

r.s. says that i may have stumbled upon a hitherto un-noted form of dysgenesis. on the other hand, r.s. was drunk when he said so (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), so maybe i didn’t. (~_^)

but, just in case, here’s the scenario:

1) gender imbalance in population: more men than women.

2) gender imbalance greatest in upper classes, the members of which have, presumably, a higher iq than average (i.e. that’s why they’re in the upper classes).

3) to quote r.s.: “Because of the ‘one father one mother’ principle – the two sexes’ genes must be very near equally represented in the next generation – usually when a pop is 66% male and 33% female the females have ~2x the fitness of the males. Because in every generation, men /collectively/ have x1 offspring and women also collectively have x1 offspring. Less women than men means more offspring for women per capita, than for men.

4) put numbers 2 & 3 together, and you should get a dysgenic situation, no? to quote me: in india, however it is the well-off that are aborting girls more than boys. that can’t be good. sounds potentially dysgenic (since poorer women will be contributing more children per capita in the next generation).”

if you’re a population geneticist and that sounds right to you, tell all your friends! if it doesn’t sound right, well, never mind.

in any case, maybe the male:female numbers in a human population would never be “off” enough for this to have an effect. then again, things ain’t great in china and india.

previously: “dysgenics”

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americans prefer boys, too

i’ve had a couple of posts up recently about the gender imbalance issue in china and india because of sex selective abortions in those countries.

well, turns out that americans prefer boys, too — and they have done since at least 1941! from gallup:

Americans Prefer Boys to Girls, Just as They Did in 1941
“Men tend to want boys; women are divided in their gender preferences

“If Americans could have only one child, they would prefer that it be a boy rather than a girl, by a 40% to 28% margin, with the rest having no preference or no opinion on the matter. These attitudes are remarkably similar to what Gallup measured in 1941, when Americans preferred a boy to a girl by a 38% to 24% margin….”

so, the preference for a boy child doesn’t seem so culturally-based. in fact, it’s starting to sound kinda — you know — universal to me. (more data req.) the imperative to act on this preference, tho, doesn’t seem so strong in the states for whatever reason(s).

see also: Couples With Daughters More Likely to Divorce (oh noes!)

previously: india and china’s missing girls and mara hvistendahl is a… and mara hvistendahl responds to dawkins

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linkfest – 06/26/11

Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look

Goodbye, Genetic Blueprint“What the new field of epigenetics reveals about how DNA really works.”

Effects of stress can be inherited, and here’s how“[V]arious stresses can change gene expression without DNA sequence change.”

Pre-schoolers prefer same-ethnicity playmates: study“Along with finger painting and story time, Canadian preschools are also spilling over with ethnic tension, according to a study released by Concordia University.”

The mechanics of speciation – on sympatric speciation.

Childhood autism spikes in geek heartlands

Carrying Capacity, IQ – from the occidentalist.

Women really do have a ‘gaydar’ and can tell sexuality just by looking at a man“The study by psychologists from the University of Toronto…compared the results to the women’s cycles and found those at their most fertile had the most accurate male ‘gaydar.'”

What is g?

IQ by religion – from the audacious.

Each Half of the Brain Has Its Own Memory Storage – i hope they consult with each other every now and again. (~_^)

mara hvistendahl responds to dawkins

mara hvistendahl has responded to richard dawkins who said that her book on the “missing girls” in india and china is critical of science. she says that it is not. further she says:

“[B]eginning in the 1960s a separate group of scientists proposed pushing along research into sex selection — not simply using existing techniques, but actively funding new work — for a reason that had nothing to do with avoiding disease or improving maternal health.

“These scientists were interested in sex selection’s significance in the developing world, where studies had shown many couples wanted at least one son. The idea there was not simply to help parents achieve the family composition of their dreams; it was to stop couples in countries like South Korea, India, and Taiwan from continuing to have girls until they got a boy. To quote from just two of the papers and books mentioning this approach at the time:

“‘A type of research which would have a great effect on population control would be that related to the discovery of methods for sex determination. It has been suggested that if one could predetermine that the first offspring would be a male, it would have a great effect on the size of the family.’ – William D. McElroy, BioScience, 1969

“‘[I]f a simple method could be found to guarantee that first-born children were males, then population control problems in many areas would be somewhat eased.’ – Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb, 1968….

“While Western science is not to blame for the disappearance of tens of millions of females from the global population, some Westerners did play a role in bringing sex selection to Asia. It is this role I hope we can discuss.”

first of all, no — westerners did not play a role in “bringing sex selection to Asia.” sure these guys had a role in bringing prenatal sex selection to asia, but asians already did PLENTY of sex selection long before the white man took any hand in it as i showed in my post yesterday. and that sex selection was probably based on INFANTICIDE — and one could make the argument that quite a lot of suffering has been avoided by eliminating a good deal of that.

and, secondly, “it is this role [of westerners] I hope we can discuss.” i’m not sure what there is to discuss, but ok.

what? is not population control — particularly in asia where there are waaaaay too many people that they can barely even feed everybody — not a problem? should we not help asians with their population problem? i think we should. we’ve all got to share this planet and if they’ve got population problems, we’ve got population problems.

there is clearly also a problem with having too many men in a society, but the asians need to work that one out for themselves. politically. they need to, i dunno, have a quota system per district and/or a lottery system (short stick? sorry, you’ll just have to be happy with a girl child). or monetary incentives to have girls! there’s a good one. everybody likes monetary incentives! encourage people to have more girls by handing out cash or free education or dowry funds or whatever.

how’s that for a plan?

previously: mara hvistendahl is a…

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mara hvistendahl is a…

…person who is really wrong about the gender imbalance issue in china and india.

in her recently published book, she apparently blames westerners for all the missing girls. from the guardian:

“Much of the literature on sex selection has suggested that cultural patterns explain the phenomenon. But Hvistendahl lays the blame squarely on western governments and businesses that have exported technology and pro-abortion practices without considering the consequences. Amniocentesis and ultrasound scans have had largely positive applications in the west, where they have been used to detect foetal abnormalities. But exported to Asia and eastern Europe they have been intricately linked to an explosion of sex selection and a mushrooming of female abortions.

“Hvistendahl claims western governments actively promoted abortion and sex selection in the developing world, encouraging the liberalisation of abortion laws and subsidising sales of ultrasounds as a form of population control.

‘It took millions of dollars in funding from US organisations for sex determination and abortion to catch on in the developing world,’ she writes.”

yes, yes — it was the evil westerners. again.

never mind that she’s totally wrong.

coincidentally, emmanuel todd brought up this very topic in his book that i just posted about yesterday [pgs. 48-49]:

“Female infanticide

“Undoubtedly the best indication of the fiercely agnatic character of the Indian family is the existence of a virulent tradition of female infanticide, more marked in north India even than in China. Recent Indian censuses consistently reveal a striking imbalance between the sexes: and excess of males denotes a massacre of female babies. A special supplement to the 1971 census was devoted to the sex ratio which, while normal in south India, frequently falls below 9 women to 10 men in north India (8.8 in Uttar Pradesh, near Delhi). In one group of villages in the Kangra district (Punjab) where a census was held in 1855, there were among children aged 4 to 14 only 393 girls for 1,000 boys.

1855. that’s just a few years before ultrasounds and amniocentesis tests were exported to the east by us evil westerners.

for a change, i’m in agreement with richard dawkins: Sex selection and the shortage of women: is science to blame?

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more missing girls?

oops:

Millions Fewer Girls Born Due to Nuclear Radiation?

“‘Unexpected’ findings suggest bomb tests, plant accidents boosted male births.

“Nuclear radiation from bomb tests and power plant accidents causes slightly more boys than girls to be born, a new study suggests. While effects were seen to be regional for incidents on the ground, like Chernobyl, atmospheric blasts were found to affect birth rates on a global scale.

“The result: Millions fewer females have been born worldwide than would otherwise be expected, researchers estimate….”

not so good.

edit: research article available online: The human sex odds at birth after the atmospheric atomic bomb tests, after Chernobyl, and in the vicinity of nuclear facilities

previously: india and china’s missing girls

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india and china’s missing girls

we’ve all read about this before i’m sure, but here’s a story about some recent research (published in the lancet) on female feticide/infanticide in india:

Rise of ‘missing girls’ in India and China

“New data from the most populated countries, China and India, indicate that the practice of aborting female fetuses and murdering girls after birth is still widespread, despite efforts in both countries to curb this extreme gender bias.

“In China, the 2010 census reveals there are now 118 boys for every 100 girls, a skewed sex ratio that is higher than a decade ago. The sex imbalance has left millions of bachelors unable to find brides, mainly in rural areas.

“In India, a new study reported in the Lancet journal indicates that 3 million to 6 million females were aborted during the past 10 years, mainly to couples whose firstborn was a girl and mainly among the more well-off families.

“With increasing wealth has come greater access to mobile ultrasound units that can determine the sex of the unborn….”

i was surprised that it’s wealthier people that are aborting girls more, but then it does make sense since they are the ones who can afford an ultrasound, etc., etc.

the researchers point out this irony in the lancet article: “Recent increases in literacy and Indian per-person income might have thus contributed to increased selective abortion of girls.”

aaaah, progress! so much for modernization leading, inevitably, to modern, western-like societies.

and, don’t forget (from the csm): “Yet such abortions can be found in many places, including among some immigrant groups in the United States.”

terrific.

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