“Shift toward consumer eugenics”

Sex selection in Asia – and in the US

NPR’s Morning Edition had an interesting interview this morning with journalist Mara Hvistendahl, who has written a book about sex-selective abortion and the consequences of gender imbalances already observable in different parts of the world.

The book is called Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, and the NPR piece focuses on the author’s research on cultures that favor male offspring and are now facing serious shortages of women. But at the very end of the segment, Hvistendahl makes an interesting statement, comparing Asian women who favor boys and typically utilize abortion as they regulate their offspring’s gender to American women who undergo in vitro fertilization, and who tend to favor girls:

“I actually think Americans selecting for girls is really not that different from what’s happening in Asia,” Hvistendahl says. “In both cases, parents are going in with preconceived notions about how the child’s going to turn out, and it’s really, in both places, this shift toward consumer eugenics and toward parents making small decisions over how their child’s going to turn out. And, you add those decisions up and they have a big impact on society.”


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About Catherine Harmon 577 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.