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

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

by Mara Hvistendahl

Publicaffairs | June 7, 2011 | Hardcover

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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.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 in

Published: June 7, 2011

Publisher: Publicaffairs

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1586488503

ISBN - 13: 9781586488505

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– More About This Product –

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

by Mara Hvistendahl

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 336 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 in

Published: June 7, 2011

Publisher: Publicaffairs

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1586488503

ISBN - 13: 9781586488505

About the Book

A shocking expose of the causes of Asia's massive gender imbalance and its consequences across the globe

From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

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.

Editorial Reviews

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, a
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