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Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Menby Mara Hvistendahl
Synopses & Reviews
Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
A Slate Best Book of 2011
A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2011
Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don't seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. By the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have twenty-four million more men than women.
The prognosis for China's neighbors is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females "missing" from its population. Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval.
Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. Mara Hvistendahl has written a stunning, impeccably-researched book that does not flinch from examining not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies of sex selection but Western complicity with them.
A shocking exposé of the causes of Asia's massive gender imbalance and its consequences across the globe
Unnatural Selection reads like a great historical detective story, and its written with the sense of moral urgency that usually accompanies the revelation of some kind of enormous crime.” —New York Times
Ms. Hvistendahl is a first-rate reporter and has filled Unnatural Selection with gripping details . There is so much to recommend.” —Wall Street Journal
An important bracing work of investigative reporting As news of these (gender) imbalances has spread, many have blamed ancient preferences: Indias patriarchal social systems, for instance, or Chinese beliefs that only boys provide for ageing parents. Hvistendahls research puts the lie to these lazy claims.” —Financial Times
Massively well-documented . A disturbing, engrossing book.” —Washington Post
It might be the most important book written about women in years.” —Slate
About the Author
Mara Hvistendahl is a correspondent with Sciences Asia bureau. Her award-winning writing has also appeared in Harpers, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Financial Times, and Foreign Policy. A former contributing editor at Seed magazine and journalism professor at Fudan University in Shanghai, Hvistendahl sits on the advisory board of Round Earth Media, an organization founded to promote international journalism. This is her first book.
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