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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Tragic and despicable. -- Dallas

Here is a related article from The Economist:

Gendercide
Killed, aborted or neglected, at least 100m girls have disappeared—and the number is rising

IMAGINE you are one half of a young couple expecting your first child in a fast-growing, poor country. You are part of the new middle class; your income is rising; you want a small family. But traditional mores hold sway around you, most important in the preference for sons over daughters. Perhaps hard physical labour is still needed for the family to make its living. Perhaps only sons may inherit land. Perhaps a daughter is deemed to join another family on marriage and you want someone to care for you when you are old. Perhaps she needs a dowry.

Now imagine that you have had an ultrasound scan; it costs $12, but you can afford that. The scan says the unborn child is a girl. You yourself would prefer a boy; the rest of your family clamours for one. You would never dream of killing a baby daughter, as they do out in the villages. But an abortion seems different. What do you do?

For millions of couples, the answer is: abort the daughter, try for a son. In China and northern India more than 120 boys are being born for every 100 girls. Nature dictates that slightly more males are born than females to offset boys' greater susceptibility to infant disease. But nothing on this scale. [continue]

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Replies to This Discussion

This is truly horrifying and will change my views on genocide forever.

He says we must address the people in power first, but how do we do thst ? I guess the mentality of people living in China and India must be addressed to but how do we do that ???????

I don't know, Marianne. It's really hard to change a culture from the outside. They have to change because they either want to change,  or because they have the opportunity to change. 

If you want to slow the growth of the world's population, and your choices are limited to:

1) killing boys before they impregnate girls, or

2) killing girls before boys impregnate them,

which will you do?

You do not have the money for other options: birth control, sex education, etc.

Walking away will not free you from the problem.

Which of those two will you choose, and why will you choose it?

Usually I like thought experiments of this kind, the answers often say a lot about the responders, including things they wish they had kept hidden.

Yet, I fail to see the point in this one. Why would I choose one over the other? Absolutely no idea. Am I allowed to toss a coin?

And, by the way, I think Swift's solution to this problem was the better one.

Yeah, Jaume, Swift did it with humor.

No need to toss a coin. Women's bodies make babies; men's bodies don't.

In manufacturing, slowdowns in certain processes affect production more than slowdowns in other processes. Look up 'critical path analysis' in Wikipedia.

Or, suppose two bus companies serve a town. If one company's drivers go on strike, the townspeople can use the other company. There isn't a critical path.

If one company serves a town and its drivers go on strike, the service stops.

Ah, OK. The way you worded it, I thought it was assumed you had a way to know with certainty when impregnation was about to occur. Since it takes two and only two to tango, it would then make no difference to kill either girl or boy for that one dance to end.

But then, if you want to "solve" the problem on a more global scale, why worry about preemptive action at all? Killing the girls before they get impregnated, or after they get pregnant, leads exactly to the same result. That's why I failed to see the point of the experiment.

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