The local impact of gendercide

March 8, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Economist has a sobering cover story this week on gendercide, the age-old practice that usually leans toward aborting girls.

Gendercide has grown to whopping proportions. In China, the ratio of births now stands at 123 boys for every 100 girls (it was “just” 108 as recently as the late 1980s); in India, several provinces have ratios of 125 or more. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia also have huge imbalances. Even such wealthy places as Hong Kong and Singapore are over the natural ratio of 105. (More boys than girls die natural deaths.)

Determining the number of missing women is left to educated guess work. One prominent researcher pegs the total at 100 million.

The reasons for gender selection vary from country to country—in China, couples want a boy if they’re limited by policy to one child. This follows ancient preferences in many places around the world for boys, particularly in poor locales. But modern couples also tend to want smaller families, and rising wealth is bringing ultrasound scans within reach.

What does all this have to do with business in Indianapolis? Maybe more than one might expect.

Some of these nations are huge trading partners, and their significance in the global economy is on a steep upward trajectory. What would happen if those legions of unmarried men could be persuaded to direct their energies at revolution or other social malfeasance? Authors, after all, have raised the prospect, and an Economist editorial that accompanies the article notes, “In any country, rootless young men spell trouble …”

Civil wars would interrupt trade, to say the least. It isn’t difficult imagining companies that relied on exports to certain countries coming on hard times or even bankruptcy.

Also, if you’re female and doing business in countries where gendercide is prevalent, how does that make you feel? Would it influence where you direct your company or whether you accepted an overseas assignment? How would your investors or boss feel about that?

Thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Genocide
    Historically, higher birth rates of males precedes war. Now that man is manufacturing this paradox, is mankind on its way to self created doom?
  • China's Stolen Children
    There's a great documentary on the subject of China - China's Stolen Children. It's really an eye-opener and quite disturbing. It's absurd that these countries can't or won't see the future implications of these practises.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT