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The True Cost Of Female Infanticide: An In Depth Investigation Of Female Infanticide In China And India

2464 words - 10 pages

When a child is born, especially in Modern Western cultures, parents along with friends and family are usually ecstatic with the news of a new family member. In these cultures, a parent’s biggest wish for their child is usually that they come out strong and healthy. This reality that many grow up with is, unfortunately, not a universal phenomenon. Infanticide, which is defined by the BBC Ethics Panel as “the unlawful killing of very young children” is sadly found in both indigenous and sophisticated cultures around the world. Although this problem exists for both genders there is a terrible gap. This is known as ‘gendercide’ which is the gender-selective killing of a person of any age and more importantly as female infanticide which is the specific targeting of female babies in the hopes of eradication. Female infanticide is not only much more common than male infanticide but in some countries, particularly China and India, is likely to have serious consequences on the balance of the sexes in these countries (BBC). The main focus of this research paper is to find out the causes of female infanticide, particularly in China and India, what female infanticide means for a family and a country as a whole and also what solutions are there to help end this practice and if they are actually effective.

Before any focus can be brought to China and India, it is important to first look at the specific reasons normally cited for the need for female infanticide. Although many, including the BBC Ethics Panel, state that the reasons are usually more so cultural than religious, it is undeniable that religion itself also plays a role. One reason for female infanticide is an ‘anti-female bias’ (BBC). Many societies that practice female infanticide always have blatant signs of a bias against females. In these cultures, like China and India, women are seen as subservient as they are locked in their roles as caregivers and homemakers while at the same time men predominantly are in charge of ensuring family’s social and economic stability. This is seen in the reality that on average, a household ran by a man verses a household ran by a woman makes about 10 – 13% more income. Also, out of all single parent households, about 85% are run by women and are almost always poorer than those run by men (Seager 22).

Another reason, which also branches off of this idea of men being in charge of economic stability, is that men usually have more earning power. Men usually are the main income-earners due to the fact that they are either more employable or earn higher wages than women for the same work and are able to do more agricultural work in more agricultural-based societies. Even in the United States of America, women usually earn about 24% less than their male counterparts (Seager 62). Because male babies have this ‘greater income potential’ they are less likely than girls to become victims of infanticide. This is so important to understand...

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