This scholarly little book is one of the most frightening books ever written. Throughout Asia, and especially in China and India, there are huge imbalances in the ratio of men to women. So huge that it appears there are 100 million missing girls.
In China "the most venomous of curses has been 'May you die without sons'" (p 71). With China's draconian one child policy many parents and grandparents feel even more strongly the need to make that one child a son.
With sex selected abortion and amniocentesis widely available throughout Asia, girls are being aborted in phenomenal numbers. Or, if even abortion is too expensive, many girls are being neglected to death, not fed properly and beaten often. In India girl babies are put in sleep, in the local parlance, by being given plant milk poison soon after birth. In one district in India "70% of infant girls did not survive birth" (p 53).
The number of 100 million women aborted or poisoned to death is barely comprehensible. It is a continent of women. Gone forever now, their voices silenced.
In 20 or 30 years from now, what will the likely future consequences of such huge imbalances in male to female be? This book does not discuss this, but you might want to pick up another book: "Bare Branches", which does. The research in "Bare Branches" reveals that historically such huge imbalances have led to war. Another likely result is the further denigration of women.
My husband requested this for Christmas. Our family is into reading about world problems that exist and have existed so that we can educate our children. My seventeen year old niece is reading it now and then it will be my turn. Can't wait! The world has a lot of problems that go unnoticed and/or ignored. this is a travesty and the more authors write about it for us to read and understand, and the more we accept responsibility to do something about it, then maybe we can make the world a better place and put a stop to these kinds of things. My husband says this books tells it all about female foeticide.