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Chinese and Indian Immigrants Import Anti-Daughter Diversity
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January 08, 2009, 09:02 PM
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Throughout Asia and the Middle East, sons are valued, while daughters are often unwanted. Baby girls may be killed, thrown in the trash (as commonly occurs in China) or aborted as a result of prenatal scanning — a medical technology that was developed to improve the health of mother and child.

India made sex-selection abortion illegal a decade ago, to little effect. The estimates of missing females there range from 10 million over 20 years to a total of 50 million. China`s 2000 census found 19 million more boys than girls in the under-15 cohort. Social pathology has followed this imbalance as some desperate bachelors have turned to kidnapping to procure a wife: Chinese police freed more than 42,000 kidnapped women and children in 2001 and 2002. Tens of millions of unattached young men in Red China may spark social unrest of various kinds. Emigration is another strategy of men determined to get married.

Speaking of Asian immigrants, do newcomers from those socially retrograde countries retain their cultural misogyny when they relocate to egalitarian America? Absolutely. A recent study has shown that among some Asians, having mere daughters is simply unacceptable: It`s a boy! Asian immigrants use medical technology to satisfy age-old desire: a son [San Jose Mercury, Jan 7, 2009].

Researchers are finding the first evidence that some Asian immigrant families are using U.S. medical technology to have sons instead of daughters, apparently acting on an age-old cultural prejudice that has led to high ratios of boys to girls in parts of China and India.

The new research, produced by independent teams of economists who arrived at similar conclusions, focused on Indian, Chinese and Korean families who first had girls and then used modern technology to have a son.

With birth records in Santa Clara County showing that Asian mothers are more likely to give birth to sons than white or Latino mothers are, the new data could reawaken a local controversy. Some local South Asian women have pressured local Indo-American newspapers and magazines in recent years to stop running ads for medical procedures that offer prospective parents the promise of a son.

For some South Asian couples, having a boy is a "status symbol," said Deepka Lalwani of Milpitas, the founder and president of Indian Business & Professional Women, a nonprofit business support network. "If a woman has male children, she feels in her family, certainly with her in-laws, that her status will go up because now she is the mother of a male child."

Such cultural pressures may explain the recent findings. A Columbia University study suggests that Chinese, Indian and Korean immigrants have been using medical technology, most likely including abortion, to assure their later children were boys. And a soon-to-be published analysis of birth records by a University of Texas economist estimates there were 2,000 "missing girls" between 1991 and 2004 among immigrant families from China and India living in the U.S. — children never born because their parents chose to have sons instead.

"Missing girls" in America — another symptom of diverse immigration!

After a century of progress in the area of women`s equality in the West, welcoming immigrants from misogynist cultures may well reverse that trend.

See also...

Sex Selection Alive and Well in South Asian Immigrant Communities in the U.S.

Clinics` Pitch to Indian ?‰migr?©s: It`s a Boy

In China`s Countryside, `It`s a Boy!` Too Often