Gendercide is gender selective mass killing. It is mostly targeted towards women, but the term is gender bias to keep in mind that sexual discrimination killing is horrific no matter what gender it effects and to bring to light how gender roles can have harmful consequences. Gendercide includes sex-selective abortions, rape followed by murder and other abuses against women. Although gendercide occurs in more rural countries, including China and India, it can be seen in many other urban countries around the world.

In New Sexual Studies, Santore says that the “gender-different arguments poised essential differences between women and men have different social experienced by virtue of living in a capitalist system” (p.201). Due to capitalist society, which historically placed women’s role in the house, women and men virtually have different experiences. Women, especially in Asian cultures, through cultural beliefs and practices that reiterate the idea that they are property and belong in the house, are devalued. The fact that men can earn more and be more influential in a capitalist society causes sons to be valued over daughters. Since families have become smaller, due to laws and the cost of children, may families are plan of having sons rather than daughters. To do this, parents engage in gendercide by having sex-selective abortions.

In China, in order to keep population from growing, they have a one-child rule. This states that each family can only have one child. If they want more children, they have to pay a fine. Only a small margin of people can afford to have multiple children so a lot of families chose to have their only child be a son due to societies gender stereotypes. Many Asian families feel as though abortion is not same as the killing of baby girls that sometimes occur in some of the small villages. They justify killing female fetus by telling themselves they are not the worst perpetrators of gendercide. To people who believe abortion is not ok, this can be seen as mass murder. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, placed the number of gendercide due to abortions to be 100m(for all countries), while almost 25 years later the number must be at least double that. The birth rate in China is 120 to 100, boys to girls. This results in high numbers of single, unpaired men. In The Economist, it stated that “in any country rootless young males spell trouble; in Asian societies, where marriage and children are the recognized routes into society, single men are almost like outlaws. Crime rates, bride trafficking, sexual violence, even female suicide rates are all rising and will rise further as the lopsided generations reach their maturity” ( If gendercide decreased, society would be safer and communities would better adhere to social expectations. The disproportion of males to females causes more problems because the limited amount of women are demeaned and discriminated. This perpetuates the idea that women are less important and powerful in society than males are.

This desire to abort “baby girls is a product of three forces: the ancient preference for sons; a modern desire for smaller families; and ultrasound scanning and other technologies that identify the sex of a fetus” (The Econismt). The technology that exist today enables this abortion to occur. Since abortions are allowed and it occurs so often, it is seen in some countries as a socially acceptable thing to do.

The desire for sons, as told above, is not a recent thing. Long ago men were seemed as more valuable because they were able to provide more for the family. Now a days women have changed the gender dynamics by becoming more educated and prominent in the work place. This should have changed the gender preference in children, but it has not. Although this change has not taken place in more rural communities, because women still aren’t being educated enough or expected to play a role in more than the domestic work. Even in some urban areas, such as America, gendercide is occurring.

You would think that it would not be allowed in American but it is. A video that was leaked of Plan Parenthood in Austin, Texas depicts a women openly saying she will terminate if the baby is a female, is completely accepted and actually gives the woman advice on how to handle talking to doctors and how to do it in secret. She does not even question her motives about terminating based on gender. I understand that she is a worker and is trying to help the client out as best as possible but she should not have been so positive and excited to help her. Why do you think that she did not question the mom about her desire to have a sex-selective abortion?

In order to end the discrimination of women, therefore ending gendercide, South Korea made equal-rights laws and encouraged female education. This completely changed the gender preference. If we are able to educate women, we will be able to change gender preferences because women will play a different role in society and will be able to stand up for their rights. Societies need to stop continuing to participate in practices that make women seem like property and instead focus instead on empowering them. How much of an impact do you think education and empowerment would have on restructuring gender preference?


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