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Gender as a supply and demand notion

While writing our first assignment of defining race, gender class sex, I can across several papers that dealt with the gender issues and problems on a global scales. One of the articles dealt with horrific practice of infanticide or Sex-selective abortion. In Western countries it is done when a pregnant woman does an ultrasound scan and when she finds that it’s a girls she makes an abortion.

Consider infanticide or Sex-selective abortion in China and India According to a report in 2005, 90 million girls are estimated to be killed in seven Asian countries alone due, apparently, to prenatal sex selective infanticide. The most common method of killing children over the ages has been head trauma, strangulation and drowning. These practices are especially common in places where cultural norms value male children over female children. Because male stay home and take care of parents and females marry in and require a lot of money as a dowry. Then we can see a population as a social construction in a way to emphasize that its composition, and dynamics depends on cultural aspects of society that values males more than females.

Right now China experiences a shortage in girls due to China’s one-child policies and sex-selective abortions a means of population control, so there is a huge competition for future wifes. It is estimated that by 2020 there could be more than 35 million young "surplus males" in China and 25 million in India. So those courtiers are considering relaxing some of the policies to allow more females to be born.
So my main question here is it logical to think of gender or define it as societal value similar to supply and demand notion, do you think if the trend continues and there will be less females then the boys will have less value?


Those numbers are alarming! Overpopulation is an issue, but what other ways are countries able to limit population without birth limitations?

Hello author,

I applaud you for your insightful post, exposing infanticide-globally!

Your question is quite complex, however I will attempt to throw my twenty-five cents into this rubbish.

Firstly, I feel infanticide of females are in existence due to sexism, and patriarchy. WE are all familiar with misogyny. Women are up against oppression from the male species. Throughout history, women have been thrust into the "back room", while men stand at the "main entrance" of society's hotel.

Based on the history of gender relations within the world, I do not feel this "trend of supply and demand" of males will turn into a "trend of supply and demand" of females.

Sexism and misogyny drives patriarchy, thus males will always be valued!

Unless society shifts it self from its current oppression of women, to seeing women as equals to men, I do not foresee women being more valued than men-even if the supply is apoplectically screaming for a demand!

I think it is really interesting that you bring this up because recently I was talking to someone about this exact issue and they did not believe me when I said it still happens. It is completely crazy to think that babies are killed solely based on gender-something we socially constructed. I think it is horrific and something that seriously needs to change. We in the U.S. and countries such as China need to re-think our ideas of girls vs. boys and males vs. females and look more at people as a whole not at their gender.

While I certainly don't mean to dismiss the brutality experienced by women in the countries you described in your posting, I would like for you to consider what you mean by "places where cultural norms value male children over female children". What does it mean for someone in the United States to be writing about gender violence that affects women of color in the "third world"? In what ways does the United States, too, have a very violent gender hierarchy which also regulates sex and gender norms? How can we discuss the lived experiences of women worldwide is ways that do not reinstate systems of power like colonialism and patriarchy?

wow. Thanks for hitting a great topic. I think its a sick reality, and should not be done. However, i see why they do it. (or at least why i think) they are so over populated, more women creates more children, plus the males "carry on the family name" i think, maybe its different there. This is a prime example of the sexism going on in the world. It really bums me out.

I had no idea this happened in such mass numbers like it does, even this day in age! I can't believe there are no consequences to this practice, and that there are no extreme measures being taken to fix this problem. I heard one statistic that for every one girl, there are 30 boys and that countries that practice this have extremely high suicide rates. As a population, this would be extremely problematic in my opinion because the population will start to decrease over time.

This is a very interesting topic that I have never put much thought into. Now that I see the depths of this intriguing topic, I find your point about the demand for males a valid one. Your article made me think of possible policy forced into the various Asian countries due to a lack of females. I feel that regardless of what happens, males will continue to be viewed as socially superior due to the importance weighed on the male dominance and the family legacy. It will be interesting to track the progress or digress of the female abortion rate over the next few years.

This is a really interesting parelle you make. To answer your question, I think when you put gender and gender roles into this context, it could very well be a supply and demand cycle. We will have to see how the situations play out in India and China to test that theory. The only contridiction I can think of is that when the population of males and females were even, they still favored the males...It didn't take a surplus of females for them to want males instead. I still think it is a very valid arguement.