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The missing millions.

Authors
  • Fathalla, M
Type
Published Article
Journal
People & the planet
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1998
Volume
7
Issue
3
Pages
10–11
Identifiers
PMID: 12321758
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

A deep-seated preference exists in many cultures for bearing sons rather than daughters. This preference for sons results in the abuse and neglect of girl children, which often leads to their death and country-level sex ratios skewed in the favor of boys and men. Many women, with the assistance and cooperation of their physicians, use ultrasound, amniocentesis, and chorionic villus sampling to determine the sex of their fetus. Many female fetuses are subsequently selectively aborted, especially in China. The selective abortion of female fetuses was so widely practiced in India that the government eventually implemented legislation against it, while the practice grew during the 1980s in South Korea. Once born, baby girls are sometimes murdered outright. Otherwise, baby girls are killed passively through neglect and discrimination. The practice of female genital mutilation is one example of the current failure to protect the girl child's right to health. The problems of teen pregnancy are briefly considered.

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