Here's some of what the article says about Hvistendahl and her book:
Mara Hvistendahl, a noted journalist, influential writer and a feminist, has become so alarmed by the global trend of choosing boys over girls---sex-selective abortion, that she has written new book titled, "Unnatural Selection".And herein lies the tale. This natural ratio is being seriously skewed in numerous countries around the world where female children are not valued as highly as males. A sign in an Indian clinic is illustrative: "Better 500 rupees now, than 5000 later." Five thousand rupees is the average cost of a girl's dowry.
She is not pro-life, nor is she writing from a moral or even political point of view .... Although unintended, her book is a gift to the pro-life cause.
She documents that in nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is universal in all cultures and economic levels.
Hvistendahl notes that:
In India today, there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China the number is 121, with some Chinese towns over 150 to 100.So why is this a problem? The case she makes is that artificially created gender imbalance leads to cultural violence, particularly violence against women, and that organizations like Planned Parenthood are unwittingly promoting policies that will make life more dangerous for women a generation or two from now:
This growing imbalance is not unique to Asia. Azerbaijan has 115, Georgia 118, and Armenia is 120.
"Historically, societies in which men substantially outnumber women are not nice places to live---often unstable, sometimes violent," noting high sex ratios in fourth century BC Athens, China's Taiping Rebellion in the 1800s, and even America's early western frontier.When males significantly outnumber females a host of other problems arise. A society in which males cannot find mates leads to roving gangs of men preying on the weak, which usually means women. It also leads to solutions for solving the problem that involve territorial expansion or raiding other countries for their women, or some other form of war in which the surplus males are simply cannon fodder.
There is compelling evidence, she claims, of a link between high sex ratios and violence. According to her research, historically, high sex ratios mean a society is going to have "surplus men" with no hope of marrying due to a lack of women. "In Chinese provinces where sex ratios have spiked, a crime wave has followed," she says.
She found that in India today the best predictor of violence and crime for any given area is not income, but sex ratio....Unnatural sex ratios lead to abuse of women, more prostitution, etc.
All of this raises a vexing problem for people like Hvistendahl. The policy they endorse, unlimited access to abortion for any reason, is leading the world to a much darker place, especially for women, but doing away with abortion would also in her view make the world a darker place, because then women would have to endure their pregnancies.
I wonder which in her mind is worse in the long run.