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Some countries may have a high proportion of male children. This is because cultural pressures lead expecting parents to only bring their male embryos to term.
Medical News Today reports that scientists from the US, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have predicted that society pressures to abort female foetuses in certain cultures will dramatically skew the country's population demographics. According to current trends, up to 4.7 million female births could be missing in countries where it is preferable to have children by 2030, according research published Monday in BMJ Global Health. This number could reach 22 million by the year 2100.
These numbers are based on billions of birth records in 12 countries that have known to have skewed the sex ratios among newborns. Researchers found that 45 million female births were missing between 1970 and 2017, 95 percent of them coming from India and China, mainly due to prenatal sex discrimination.
Researchers identified a vicious circle of gender inequality. This is where sons are more preferred than daughters, which leads to an overabundance in men who, based on basic math will struggle to find a partner to marry. Scientists warn that this will lead to violence and worse treatment for women.
They wrote that a male-biased sex system in a society could cause demographic problems such as marriage squeeze and a lack of married females. A population with fewer females than expected could lead to higher levels of violence and antisocial behavior, which can ultimately impact long-term stability as well as social sustainability.
Researchers call for a closer monitoring of the newborn population in the countries concerned, as well as better legal protections for girls and women who may be neglected or mistreated throughout life.