- Welcome to the Institute's new Internet
- Stem cell technique offers new potential to treat blindness
- 20 percent of adult obesity might be caused by infant nutrition
- Study to reduce birth defects
- Beta thalassaemia gene therapy success
- Genetic link with human male infertility identified
- New research into Congenital Toxoplasmosis endorses UK health guidance for pregnant women
- ICH Poster Competition and Open Day
- Is 'breast only' for first six months best?
- Six months of exclusive breast feeding: how good is the evidence?
- Major new programme to tackle childhood obesity launched
- Study shows that early detection of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency would save lives
- £28 Million boost to understand child health
- The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, India and South Korea
- Regenerative medicine success for muscles
- New study examines early-onset eating disorders in under-13s
- International 50-year mortality trends in children and young people reveal an inadequate response to the health problems and causes of death in adolescents, particularly young men
- Apples, oranges and jam – the tasty way to keep kidney disease at bay
- Scientists prove heart has built-in repair mechanism: Exciting breakthrough towards mending broken hearts
- Fight for Sight awards £1 million for retinal disease research
- New Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families
- UCLB and NCYPE announce a commercialisation agreement with Special Products Limited for Epistatus®
- Molecular scalpel hope for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- Eating disorders linked to fertility problems and negative feelings towards pregnancy
- Science: From Cradle to Grave
- £36 million boost for children's health research
- Gene therapy success for children born without functioning immune system
- ICH Open Day 2011
- Under 16s make up less than one per cent of NHS patient surveys
- Mitochondria genes and cardiomyopathy
- Child Health Research PhD Studentships 2012-13
- Tate Liverpool exhibition inspires pioneering science games
- No consistent decrease in child maltreatment despite years of policy initiatives designed to achieve it
- New approach on bone marrow transplant infections
- Genetic testing for antibiotic related deafness
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity announces plans to build a Centre for Children’s Rare Disease Research
- Gene therapy shows clinical effect in third immune disease
- Clean delivery kits linked to substantial reduction in neonatal deaths in South Asia, study shows
- Genetic variant inherited from the mother significantly increases birth weight
- Not enough is known about prescription drug use in pregnancy, say experts
- Improving access to education and employment and reducing the risk of transport-related injury are among the best ways to improve adolescent health
- Research reveals association between red hair gene and rare birthmarks
- Five new UCL fellows of Academy of Medical Sciences
- Surgery boost for children with drug-resistant epilepsy.
- Professor of economics and deputy director appointed to the new UK Birth Cohort Study
- First example of a heritable abnormality affecting semantic cognition found
- New Director of the UCL Institute of Child Health
- New approach to recording suspected child abuse in patient records
- Amniotic fluid yields alternatives to embryonic stem cells
- ICH OPEN DAY AND POSTER COMPETITION
- Europe’s first research centre to battle birth defects
- New cause of thyroid hormone deficiency discovered
- £10 million boost for Centre for Children’s Rare Disease Research
- EU awards grant to develop new drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
- New research centre for teenagers with arthritis
- Major study shows steep decline in figure for diagnosed epilepsy
- Obesity leads to vitamin D deficiency
- Researchers find gene responsible for rare condition that can lead to melanomas
- ICH research highlights unmet needs of children and young people with cancer and challenges public policy
- Amniotic fluid stem cells repair gut damage
- Developmental delays identified in children with prolonged seizures
- Number of people in UK diagnosed with eating disorders is increasing
- New method strips lungs of old cells in three hours
- Overall child deaths due to injuries are down in the UK
- Aug 13
- Prestigious NIHR Research Professorship awarded to Professor Persis Amrolia
The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, India and South Korea
15 March 2011
In the next 20 years in large parts of China and India, there will be a 10%
to 20% excess of young men because of sex selection and this imbalance will have
societal repercussions, states an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical
A preference for sons in China, India and South Korea combined with easy access to sex-selective abortions has led to a significant imbalance between the number of males and females born in these countries. The sex ratio at birth (SRB) – the number of boys born to every 100 girls – is consistent in human populations in which about 105 males are born to every 100 females. However, with the advent of ultrasounds that enable sex-selection, the sex ratio at birth in some cities in South Korea climbed to 125 by 1992 and is over 130 in several Chinese provinces from Henan in the north to Hainan in the south.
In 2005 in China, “it was estimated that 1.1 million excess males were born across the country and that the number of males under the age of 20 years exceeded the number of females by around 32 million,” writes Professor Therese Hesketh, UCL Centre for International Health and Development, London, United Kingdom with coauthors.
In India, similar disparities exist, with sex ratios as high as 125 in Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat in the north but normal sex ratios of 105 in the southern and eastern states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.
“A consistent pattern in all three countries is the marked trend related to birth order and the influence of the sex of the preceding child,” state the authors. If the first or second born are girls, couples will often sex select to ensure the second or third child is a boy.
The societal implications mean that a significant percentage of the male population will not be able to marry or have children because of a scarcity of women. In China, 94% of unmarried people aged 28 to 49 are male, 97% of whom have not completed high school, and there are worries the inability to marry will result in psychological issues and possibly increased violence and crime.
Policy makers in China, India and South Korea have taken some steps to address the issue, such as instituting laws forbidding fetal sex determination and selective abortion, but more can be done.
“To successfully address the underlying issue of son preference is hugely challenging and requires a multifaceted approach,” state the authors.
The relaxation of China’s one-child policy, especially in rural areas, could have some impact on sex ratios. But more important is to change underlying and long-standing attitudes towards son preference. Public awareness campaigns have had an impact. In South Korea and China, awareness campaigns have helped reduce the sex ratio at birth (for example, 118 in 1990 in South Korea to 109 in 2004).
“However, these incipient declines will not filter through to the reproductive age group for another two decades, and the SRBs in these countries remain high. It is likely to be several decades before the SRB in countries like India and China are within normal limits,” conclude the authors.
Contact for interviews: Ruth Howells, University College London, United Kingdom, tel: +44 (0)20 3108 3845 (internal 53845), Mobile: +44 (0)7990 675 947, Ruth.Howells@ucl.ac.uk, for Professor Therese Hesketh
Mandarin interviews: Dr. Zhu Wei Xing, Zhejiang Normal University, Zhejiang, China, email@example.com
Page last modified on 15 mar 11 09:53