Friday, April 01, 2005

Gender Determination

Sex determination of the unborn child is considered a crime. Authorities are scared that if the birth of the male child is preferred, a proportional decline in the female population (compared to the male) is imminent. Low sex ratios in most Indian states confirm this.

This prejudice against female offspring is reprehensible - to the extent of being deplorable from an individual and a moral point of view. I would never indulge in such practices - and would never befriend anyone who is known to do so. But that is my point of view.

But consider this. If a family does not like a girl child (as some narrow minded Indian families don't) - and considers a the responsibility of parenting the same onerous - then we ask: should they be forced to have a girl child in the first place? It is extremely likely that they shall exploit the child - both sexually and physically. Is letting the child be born humane?

A concequence of girl child not being born, is the dip in the sex ratio. Lots of people contend that this dip in the sex ratio is unhealthy. But look at what it does: it reduces the population of that particular section of society - which would be better for soicety as a whole - as, essentially, it is that illiterate and ignorant section of society which creates population problems anyway. So is sex prediction, despite being extremely morally reprehensible a blessing in disguise?

After all, women give birth. If we have less women around (especially in the poorer sections, where such prejudices are rife) - then wouldn't it reduce the population of the nation in the long run? It is more likely that the population that it would be reducing would be that of unskilled workers. Less poverty? Better economic progress? More happy people? Is the recent legislation (passed by some state legislatures) banning sex determination tests populist politics? After all, 50% of the population is female. Their votes are invaluable.

This topic is a potential minefield. I already have faced fierce criticism from an outraged woman when I mooted this idea. She held that a low sex ratio would encourage sexual exploitation - more desperate men..... you get the idea.

I am sure that lots of people, not unlike the aforementioned woman will be repelled and disgusted by this idea. I'm not comfortable with this idea myself. I would like to discuss this with others and see what they think of about this. Your comments are welcome.


Radha said...

Firstly, I think you are living in the stone age when people used to think that having a daughter meant being a burden to the parents. Have you lost touch with reality? Haven't you read the newspapers that the percentage of girls passing out with honors is greater than that of the boys? That women in general tend to be more successful than men? (Read the latest India Today for more info.)That parents are beginning to realise that daughters are being more supportive and comforting in their old age than their sons?

Tell me this - with less women around, you think that this will lead to a smaller population in the coming years. But do you think that other men keep themselves in control when they see the only woman of the village walk by? This woman is going to be a common property of all men in the village, is going to be sexually exploited and consequently, will bear a comparable number of children. Do you think the matter stops here? An article did appear in The Hindu that, this then lead to a number of quarrels in the village, as to who was the father of the child and God knows what finally happened to that woman, who was being treated like a commodity. And you call this being progressive and say that we are a civilised lot!!!???

Also, if you are so concerned about the rising population levels, why can't people have an abortion even when the expected child is a boy? That way, it is a win-win situation, as the population is also under control and the women live in a safer environment too.

Rap said...

Ah. There lurks a feminist within every woman.

The Ignoramus said...

rap...i guess we will discuss in the mess.

miss radha...
i guess you are missing the point. Rap is just giving another viewpoint, which is not his. It is another way of looking at it. It is not a popular one though. This is seen in your intolerance. Demography is not easy to predict.

The village example you gave was, to me, quite convincing. But, Rap has definitely raised the issue of the Hated-Girl-Child Syndrome which is possible. In that case, all human right activists would cry against this. I would rather that a girl child is not born at all, if she were to get exploited after her birth.

It is not easy to decide. Everything has its pros and cons. We have to weigh it. But, we cannot dismiss anything.