On Aug 12, 2006, at 4:07 PM, authfriend wrote:

>> The pressure to raise sons in Chinese culture is
>> immense. And with the one-child-per-family policy they've had for
>> the past few decades, many women there are put in an absolutely
>> horrendous position.
> Unquestionably (although Lawson says they've
> dropped that policy).

Lawson is full of crap--the policy is alive and well.  But in any case 
that's not really the issue.  As long as the cultural preference for 
sons continues, the  desire to get rid of daughters will be there, even 
if the government allowed 10 kids/family.  This policy has certainly 
grossly exacerbated things, but it didn't create them.

> Besides, I'm not really sure what I see as the difference
>> between selective abortion (my term) and any other kind?  It's all 
>> selective.  Yes, there will be many and varied long-term
>> consequences of this--many villages in China are feeling it
>> already, as men grow up there and there are no women their age to
>> marry--but apart from having some unmarried men, I'm not sure
>> that's really a problem.
> Well, but that's *the* issue.  Maybe you're right
> and it wouldn't be much of a problem, but it seems
> to me it might cause massive and intractable social
> disruption and imbalance that would have all kinds
> of negative consequences.

And all the unwanted girls that are placed in orphanages (and who 
survive) and grow up to become almost overwhelmingly prostitutes and 
drug addicts--and who then go on to have more unwanted children, 
perpetuating the cycle--what is that if not massive and intractable 
social disruption?  That's the fate of nearly all the girls in China 
who don't get adopted, as blood is everything there.

>> And it sure
>> isn't a problem compared to children dying in droves, which is what
>> is happening now.
> Might it mean even *more* children dying in droves
> later on, though?

Later on when?
>> There aren't near enough interested families to adopt all the
>> children in China who need it.
> Definitely a big problem.  Again, the question is, which
> is the bigger problem in the long run?

I would say that that is impossible to determine until later on gets 

> I'm really not sure, Sal.  I'm open to hearing
> arguments either way.  If aborting female fetuses
> would cause fewer problems, then I'd be for aborting
> female fetuses, as repugnant as that is.

What would cause fewer problems is if the cultural preference for boys 
could be diminished somehow, but changing attitudes, esp. such 
seriously ingrained ones, takes time, education and resources. They're 
trying, but until it happens on a large scale I'm not sure there is 
much else the government can do.  ABandoning children there is illegal, 
of course, but it doesn't seem to be stopping anyone.
>> No, I'm advocating not letting women use it to
>> selectively abort females (in other words, I'm
>> advocating not telling them what the ultrasound
>> reveals about the sex of the fetus).
>> Then what would be the point of the US?
> Checking for abnormalities, determining the
> health of the fetus, and just generally making
> sure the pregnancy is progressing as it should.
> See this from the Mayo Clinic Web site for details:
> http://tinyurl.com/kn3un
> The money quote in this context:
> "Ultrasounds aren't recommended simply to
> determine a baby's sex — but it may be a
> bonus when an ultrasound is done for medical
> reasons."

I *know* that USs aren't recommended just for that reason, Judy. I'm 
merely pointing out that it is used overwhelmingly for that purpose in 

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