"This is a book about whole nations wounded by sex selection. Mara Hvistendahl...describes a history we would be wise to learn from." --Xinran, author of Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother and Sky Burial
"Yes, it's a rigorous exploration of the world's 'missing women,' but it's more than that too: an extraordinarily vivid look at the implications of the problem."
----Stephen J. Dubner, author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
From the Inside Flap
The prognosis for China's neighbors is no less bleak: rampant sex selective abortion has left over 160 million females "missing" from Asia's population. And gender imbalance reaches far beyond South and East Asia, affecting the Caucasus countries, Eastern Europe, and even some groups in the United States --a rate of diffusion so rapid that the leading expert on the topic compares it to an epidemic. As economic development spurs parents in developing countries to have fewer children and brings them access to sex determination technology, couples are making sure at least one of their children is a son. So many parents now select for boys that they have skewed the sex ratio at birth of the entire world.
Sex selection did not arise on its own. Largely unknown until now is that the sex ratio imbalance is partly the work of a group of 1960s American activists and scientist who zealously backed the use of prenatal technologies in their haste to solve an earlier global problem.
What does this mean for our future? The sex ratio imbalance has already led to a spike in sex trafficking and bride buying across Asia, and it may be linked to a recent rise in crime there as well. More far-reaching problems could be on the horizon: From ancient Rome to the American Wild West, historical excesses of men have yielded periods of violence and instability. Traveling to nine countries, Mara Hvistendahl has produced a stunning, impeccably researched book that examines not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies underlying sex selection but also the West's role in creating them.