Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

Front Cover
PublicAffairs, Jun 7, 2011 - Social Science - 336 pages

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

A Slate Best Book of 2011

A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2011

Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don't seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. By the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have twenty-four million more men than women.

The prognosis for China's neighbors is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females "missing" from its population. Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval.

Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. Mara Hvistendahl has written a stunning, impeccably-researched book that does not flinch from examining not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies of sex selection but Western complicity with them.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - epersonae - LibraryThing

I don't remember exactly what bugged me about this book (since I read it several months ago), but what I do remember is (a) author had some sort of hobby-horse (abortion, I think?) and (b) I found ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - shadowofthewind - LibraryThing

Mara Hvistenfahl makes the claim, resting on cultural history and western technology, that there are millions of women missing from the world because of abortion and sex selection. I'm not convinced ... Read full review

Contents

PART TWO A Great Idea
75
PART THREE The Womanless World
157
Epilogue
249
Acknowledgments
263
Notes
267
Index
303
Mara Hvistendahl
315
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Mara Hvistendahl's writing has appeared in Harper's, The New Republic, Scientific American, the Financial Times magazine, Popular Science, Foreign Policy, and the Los Angeles Times. A correspondent for the Chronicle of Higher Education and former contributing editor at Seed magazine, Mara has won an Education Writers Association award and been nominated for the Newswomen's Club of New York Front Page Award. She first lived in Asia over a decade ago, when her studies took her to Beijing. She has spent half of the years since then in China, a base from which she reported extensively from around the continent.

Bibliographic information