March 1, 2024

US families from Asian backgrounds selecting sex of children

Will diminish with time, say experts

Asian preference for sex selection is spreading to the United States. According to a study in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the odds of having a boy increase dramatically if Chinese, Korean and Asian Indian parents already have a girl. The most common means of sex selection is foetal ultrasound followed by the abortion of females. Between 1989 and 1999, ultrasound use amongst parents from non-Japanese Asian backgrounds almost doubled. The normal sex ratio at birth is 1.05 boys to 1 girl. However, if the first baby is a girl, the odds of a boy rise to 1.17 to 1, and after two girls, to 1.51 to 1.

Researcher said that these results were not surprising, but doubted that a preference for sex selection would persist in subsequent generations. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine believe that sex selection to avoid genetic disorders is ethical, but they discourage sex selection for such as "family balancing". However, while many countries prohibit sex selection without a medical purpose, the United States does not. ~ AP, Mar 31