Countries that experience an imbalance in the ratio between men and women due to a cultural preference for children would ‘lose’ about 4.7 million girls by 2030, details a study published this Monday in BMJ Global Health.
The study recalls that sex-selective abortions they have been on the rise for the past 40 years in countries of Southeast Europe and South and East Asia. And to determine the lasting effects of these types of practices, an international team of researchers – represented by scientists from Saudi Arabia, the US, Singapore and India – has analyzed data from more than 3,000 million births during the last half century.
The scientists were able to quantify the ratio between the sexes using two scenarios. Under Scenario 1, which only analyzed trends for countries with strong evidence of skewed sex ratios at birth, countries would lose about 4.7 million girls who could be born by 2030. According to scenario 2, which additionally includes trends that are not sufficiently verified, the figure would grow to 22 million by 2100, while the 38% of girls they would be aborted in sub-Saharan Africa.
On the other hand, the excess of men could lead to a marital pressure, the researchers estimate.
“A lower number of women than expected in a population can result in high levels of antisocial behavior and violence, and, ultimately, can affect long-term stability and sustainable social development, “reads the study.
Scientists stress the importance of “influencing gender norms that are at the core of such harmful practices as prenatal sex selection.”