Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Female Gendercide

Oprah brought to light the gendercide in India, but it's also happening in China and here in America.

Gendercide is the intentional killing of the XX chromosome, whether it's in the Petri dish, through abortion or murder after birth — as a result of a preference for boys.

In the United States, where gendercide is being practiced under the guise of gender selection for the purpose of "Family Balancing," the exact numbers of boys outnumbering girls are considered confidential. The medical language used in defining gender selection preference can be misleading and is often interpreted and divided into many subgroups, most likely giving the impression that fewer gender selection procedures are taking place than actually are. Even in the United States, the amount of boys being chosen over girls is unclear.

What is clear is that the choice is being made. But why?

It's men and women making these choices, these distinctions. Could it be that couples are turning to science for gender selection to secure a son for the purpose of carrying on the family name? If that's the case, then the choice of a woman taking a man's last name in marriage can be directly linked to the decline of the female population.

This would prove once and for all that something as seemingly insignificant as taking a man's last name is in fact not insignificant at all. Indeed, the taking of a man's last name, and the gender selection of a son over a daughter to carry on that name could, in effect, be the crux of the inequality that all American women face.

How can we stop female gendercide in our country? Perhaps we can by choosing not to participate in the traditions that make gendercide a desirable option for some. If women keep their own last names when they marry (see *What's In A Name? for more info), if we go by "Ms." instead of "Mrs." or "Miss" (see This Ms. Don't Miss The Mrs. for more info), if we give our children our last names, we are practicing equality*. Women have often been the torchbearers of evolution. It is the practice of equality, not the theory of it, that shapes our perceptions and can ensure the balance of nature.

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1-26-2004 Newsweek "Girl or Boy? Now you can choose. But should you? The new science of sex selection. Claudia Kalb, Sudip Mazumdar in New Delhi, Sarah Schafer in Beijing and B. J. Lee in Seoul.
National Geographic Ultimate Explorer (Jan, 2004)