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Buying a son is big business

Parents are paying large sums of money to sex-detection specialists to ensure that they’ll have a son.

The 2010 Chinese census shows the nation has 118 boys for every 100 girls under the age of 20 years. An editorial in noted medical journal The Lancet is saying that the reason for this is strictly business.

The natural ratio is 105 to 100.  The explanation is early sex determination and selective termination of pregnancy because of a “deeply rooted cultural preference for sons” plus the influence of the one-child national policy, which is set to remain in place until 2015.

The Chinese government has tried to ban the practice of sex detection 5 times in the last few decades but it continues to flourish despite threats of licence revokes and clinic closures.

Sex detection is costly: US$ 800 for blood tests and over US$ 500 for ultrasound scanning, making it an easy way to turn a buck for money-hungry medical professionals.

The cost of the termination of a female pregnancy is not quoted with those figures, and terminations may happen repeatedly before a male is detected.

The whole corrupt business demeans women, distorts the population and will create social problems that will lead to a culturally impoverished society which will be an embarrassment to those born into it by their parents’ misguided interventions.

Is sex detection merely a business, and who’s to blame?

By: Scott Dunlop

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