March 03, 2009
Missing girls and unaccounted girls
Science magazine has two news items on the "missing girls" of China, where due to selective abortion 120 boys are born for every 100 girls. Science is sympathetic to the idea that "girls are just as precious as boys" in the first of the articles, is sympathetic to men in the second - "Chinese officials are taking measures to encourage couples to value daughters, but they don't talk much about the flip side of the problem: men who can't find wives" -, and then fails to acknowledge the happy flip side of this flip side - women who can now afford to choose better husbands. They don't count for Science.