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Kirkus Review, April 15, 2011
"A hard-hitting, eye-opening study that not only paints a dire future of a world without girls but traces the West’s role in propagating sex selection . Hvistendahl’s important, even-handed exposé considers all sides of the argument and deserves careful attention and study."
Anne-Marie Slaughter, Bert G. Kerstetter University Professor of Politics and International Affairs, Princeton University
Unnatural Selection is an important book and a fascinating read. Mara Hvistendahl is a delightful writer: witty, engaging, and acute. But the tale she tells is deeply disturbing. Asia alone is missing 160 million women and girls, a number equal to the entire female population of the United States. According to Hvistendahl, the culprit is less deeply rooted cultural gender bias than rising wealth, elite attitudes, and Western influence and technology. Development, at least for the coming decades, will produce not only fewer children overall, but also many fewer girls. The result is a future for many parts of the world, from India to China, Azerbaijan to Albania, where brides are much more likely to be bought, women are much more likely to be trafficked, and men are much more likely to be frustrated. For the present, women who are pro-choice must confront the stark reality that the availability of ultrasound and ready abortion are sharply reducing the number of women in the world.”
Stephen J. Dubner, author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
"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. Hvistendahl writes beautifully, with an eye for detail but also the big picture. She has a fierce intelligence but, more important, a fierce intellectual independence; she writes with a hard edge but no venom rather, a cool and hard passion."
Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide
"A fascinating and thoroughly researched book on a most important subject. The staggering population imbalances described by Hvistendahl should be of concern to all."
Judy Norsigian, Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves
A critically important story of demographic surprises and skewed sex ratios, trafficked wives and mail-order brides. Thanks to the devaluation of females and misused technologies, sex selection has reached staggering dimensions in recent decades. Hvistendahl’s call to action is the most well-documented and compelling yet.”
New York Times, Ross Douthat, June 26, 2011
Unnatural Selection reads like a great historical detective story, and it’s written with the sense of moral urgency that usually accompanies the revelation of some kind of enormous crime.”
Globe and Mail, July 1, 2011
Brave, well researched and imminently controversial . From the distant vista of the West, where we don’t really consider what it would mean to have an only son who can never find a mate, the unbalanced sex ratio in Asia may seem like relatively small news. This remarkable book goes a long way to bringing the pain and the urgency of the issue home. Mara Hvistendahl is not just entering an important conversation, she’s starting one.” the dogged self-destruction of a braggadocio crippled by the conviction of his own superiority.”
Washington Post, July 3, 2011
Massively well-documented . [Hvistendahl] has written a disturbing, engrossing book.”
Economist, August 6, 2011
Ms. Hvistendahl is convincing in telling the little-known story of how Westerners helped create the conditions under which sex selection began in Asia . Hvistendahl’s distinctive contribution is twofold. She provides a history of the modern practice of sex-selective abortion, based on new and detailed research, and she helps readers think about its possible consequences.”
This book offers a highly readable and well documented account of how many societies are generating horrendous gender imbalances. However, the final sections are quite confused. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Seamus O'Doherty
Provocative, disturbing, tragic - these are some of the words that come to mind after I finished reading this book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by norcalgal
By far the best book I've read in 2014. The facts are presented logically so that understanding the technology is clear. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Janet Carroll
a wide ranging indictment of the practice of sex selection and its consequencesPublished 11 months ago by Douglas E Nyhus
I tried to like this book but couldn't. Im sure it's important,but needed a good editor. Very repetitious.Published 12 months ago by Penny
An interesting, well-written read, even with the weighty subject matter.Published 14 months ago by Maryanna Kraft
Unnatural Selection came I would say at the right... Its a must read for parents who feel the need to populate the would with men. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Aaigboje