50 whys to look for genes: 38. Select sex of the baby

Prenatal tests can determine the chromosomal sex of the fetus as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy.  If the fetus is not of the desired sex, it can be aborted.

Complications

1. Selecting the sex of the baby happens by rejecting the fetuses that are not of that sex.

2. That selective abortion by sex is happening even when illegal is evident, for example, in the sex ratio of second children in India.  The parents take their chances the first time, but, if they have a girl, enough parents resort to sex-selective abortion that the sex ratio of second children is skewed towards male babies (Manchanda et al. 2011).

3. The social implications of this imbalance could be significant, if that is not the case already (e.g., Hesketh & Min 2012, 2011 magazine article about China).

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(Introduction to this series of posts)

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