Normally, most countries are split sex-wise about 50-50, half male and half female. The ratio of men to women usually doesn’t change as a population grows larger. More people means both more men and more women. However, there are places on Earth where the population of men is increasing much faster than the population of women. What’s going on?
The number of women in a population usually varies directly with the population itself. As a population grows, the number of women should grow at the same rate. However, in some parts of the world, there are large gender imbalances. In these societies, parents value sons but not daughters. It is the norm for parents to choose the sex of their child either by selecting embryos during in vitro fertilization or through sex-selective abortions. Though wealthier couples can use these technologies to produce sons, couples with fewer resources simply give up their daughters to orphanages.
Sociologists aren’t sure what will happen to these societies as their sex ratios become increasingly skewed. China, India, and South Korea all have large populations of young men who will never be able to marry or have a family. Some researchers fear that an excess of young men will lead to an increase in crime and violence. Others worry that men in search of brides may exploit women from less wealthy countries. Some governments have outlawed sex-selective abortions. In other countries, activists are trying to change the sexist attitudes that permeate society. They hope to show parents that girls are as valuable as boys.
Take a look at the situation in India: http://on.aol.com/video/indias-missing-girls--gender-selective-abortions-517294519
Using the links below, learn more about gender imbalances throughout the world and what's being done to stem the practice of prenatal sex selection.