WHO knows.

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12 Responses to WHO knows.

  1. Melissa says:

    Oh my god – I studied about this in college – female infanticide and the number of women who have abortions upon finding out their first child is not a boy. So disgusting.

  2. Priyank says:

    Ouch. That hurt.

  3. Mengsha says:

    Wow. We’re still such a male-dominated, misogynistic society.

  4. Colin Campbell says:

    Ugly but true.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What “misogynistic society” are you talking about? Do you live in China? Because that is where it happens.

  6. kemitche says:

    It is harder to tell if you have a boys baby when using a sonongram. If you can’t see the penis, then you don’t know for sure. Many people are told they’re having a girl and end up having a boy….

  7. Nienke says:

    True and frightening.
    And just a suggestion: I know you donĀ“t do actual mathematics, but the graph would make more sense if you switched the parameters.
    Sorry for being pedantic and thank you for an inspiring blog.

  8. J says:


    A depressing reminder.

  9. Jonathan Fung says:

    Nienke is probably right on the parameters…but man, that was a weird graph.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Not if you’re graphing in economics, where the independent variable is mapped to the y-axis for some godforsaken reason.

  11. Amy Cara says:

    So it’s not so simple, but what a striking graphic you have made! And WHAT A TITLE!

    Its not just in China, as one commenter suggested, nor is it accurate to imagine that “our society” does not include the 25% of humans that are Chinese!

    Actually, the worst areas of the world (for gender disparity in life expectancy) are located in India. There’s significant disparity in other parts of Asia, and in Africa and Latin America, too.

    In 1990 Amartya Sen calculated that 100 Million Women were missing from the Earth’s population. You can read the New York Review article at ucatlas.ucsc.edu/gender/Sen100M. Sen suggested that boys were given more or better food and medical care than their sisters. Of course, infanticide probably plays a part.

    More recent studies find correlations to womens’ education, economic independence, power within the family, rights in and after divorce, access to police protection (from DV or sexual violence), and ability to travel independently (to work, doctor, or a safe haven). Also, FGM raises childbirth mortality rates, causes infections, and accompanies the political disempowerment of women.

    Also, don’t forget that rape has been a tool of war since time began, and that women represent the great majority of slaves at present (generally sex or domestic workers) and often die of violence, lack of medical care, or during trafficking.

    I always wonder how moms think about killing their daughters. Are they depriving the baby for their own benefit? Or saving her from their own troubles? Or something else?

  12. Russell says:

    Seriously. Has anyone considered the ture essense of the stupidity involved in this? A woman, in killing her daughter, is effectively killing herself. Certainly if her mother had been so inclined, she would not be here to make this decision. :-(