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Archive > Inspired from your talk with G. Steinem - imbalance in population

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message 1: by Annabel (new)

Annabel | 1 comments Having been at your great talk with Gloria Steinem last night, I thought it was interesting when you said that there was now an imbalance in the global population between men and women.

Thought this book would be of interest. It's about how a drug company sells a product that, if taken, can guarantee the birth of a son instead of a daughter and the ensuing changes to societies around the world as the population of males vs females begins to shift.

Beautifully written in 1992 French by Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf and translated by Dorothy Blair

message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2016 06:38AM) (new)

I didn't know there's such imbalance. As far as I know the global rate is 50/50, roughly speaking. A different issue would be the mentality of some countries/cultures, which prefer to have a son.

message 3: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments Well, roughly speaking, the man decides the sex of the baby. But a y chromosome does not make a person male. A genetic mutation or an "unbalanced" hormone level, and you have a baby in-between. But I believe that there are more men than women in the world, generally speaking.

message 4: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceinwifiland) | 14 comments That book sounds quite interesting Annabel. Link for anyone wanting more info: The First Century After Beatrice by Amin Maalouf

I think mother nature/chance/whatever you want to call it generally does a good job of keeping the human birthrate sex ratio pretty close to 1:1. But I suppose advancing technology and humans "playing God" is bound to skew that natural ratio at some point right?

Being able to select attributes for an unborn child just seems potentially problematic to me. Reminds me of that film Gattaca (1997). Been years since I watched it but it's always stuck in my mind. Basically parents can choose genetically superior embryos and these people grow up to be "valids" while people conceived traditionally without the use of eugenics technologies are labelled "in-valids" and have limited employment options. Brilliant film, would definitely recommend it.

Back to gender imbalance though - if you are undergoing IVF you may already have the option of selecting the gender of your child I believe? I read a news story the other day about Australians undergoing IVF travelling to the USA purely for gender selection which is currently outlawed in Australia. Interestingly the majority of Australians they asked were opting for girls. Sex-selective abortions would also affect the ratio.

message 5: by MeerderWörter (new)

MeerderWörter | 2388 comments whatrhymeswithowl wrote: "That book sounds quite interesting Annabel. Link for anyone wanting more info: The First Century After Beatrice by Amin Maalouf

I think mother nature/chance/whatever you want to call it genera..."

Right you are, whatrhymeswithowl.

But one has to consider intersex issues here too.

message 6: by Alice (new)

Alice (aliceinwifiland) | 14 comments MeerderWörter wrote: "But one has to consider intersex issues here too."

True. This article is worth a read:
Eliminating intersex babies is not a legitimate use of genetic embryo testing

The following really stood out to me:

- "Using these technologies to select against traits that we consider to be imperfections or deformities rather than normal and celebratory human variations reproduces the very prejudices –like intersexism, ableism and queerphobia – that oppress living people."

-"Using technology to eliminate “imperfect” or “unviable” humans reproduces the false ideology that people with bodily variations have untliveable and pitiable existences."

- "Society needs to change, not intersex bodies."

- "Instead of thinking about which lives are supposedly, inherently not worth living, we need to think about what we can do to celebrate bodily variance – how we can change to make every person’s life both liveable and filled with joy."

message 7: by Katelyn, Our Shared Shelf Moderator (new)

Katelyn (katelynrh) | 836 comments Mod
Hi all,

We try to keep the Book Suggestions folder exclusively for lists of books organized by theme, topic, genre, etc.

Topics like this can be placed in other relevant folders. Please also add the book to the Book Suggestion bookshelf and to any of the other list threads in the Book Suggestions folder.


Moved to Feminism folder

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