Demographers say the statistical deviation among Asian-American families is significant, and they believe it reflects not only a preference for male children, but a growing tendency for these families to embrace sex-selection techniques, like in vitro fertilization and sperm sorting, or abortion.
New immigrants typically transplant some of their customs and culture to the United States — from tastes in food and child-rearing practices to their emphasis on education and the elevated social and economic status of males. The appeal to immigrants by clinics specializing in sex selection caused some controversy a decade ago.
But a number of experts expressed surprise to see evidence that the preference for sons among Asian-Americans has been so significantly carried over to this country. “That this is going on in the United States — people were blown away by this,” said Prof. Lena Edlund of Columbia University.
She and her colleague Prof. Douglas Almond studied 2000 census data and published their results last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In general, more boys than girls are born in the United States, by a ratio of 1.05 to 1. But among American families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the likelihood of having a boy increased to 1.17 to 1 if the first child was a girl, according to the Columbia economists. If the first two children were girls, the ratio for a third child was 1.51 to 1 — or about 50 percent greater — in favor of boys.
Studies have not detected a similar preference for males among Japanese-Americans.
The findings published by Professors Almond and Edlund were bolstered this year by the work of a University of Texas economist, Prof. Jason Abrevaya. He found that on the basis of census and birth records through 2004, the incidence of boys among immigrant Chinese parents in New York was higher than the national average for Chinese families. Boys typically account for about 515 of every 1,000 births. But he found that among Chinese New Yorkers having a third child, the number of boys was about 558.
Progressives who advocate for abortion rights say they are for women's rights. But I am not so sure that abortion and women's rights really go together than seamlessly. I have recently posted a case where the teenage girl was coerced into having an abortion by her father and other family members. And posted about the threat of murder for women who do not abort their babies when the father of the baby doesn't want her to have it. Now here we see that boys are preferred in Asian cultures, and women are pressured into producing baby boys. And that means women being pressured to abort their babies because they are girl babies. I am starting to think that being anti-abortion is the real women's rights position.