Ahead of the op-ed curve

Last week council member, The Glittering Eye had a post Earth needs Women, commenting on a recent report in The Economist about the dearth of women in Asian countries, especially India and China.

He actually had a rather positive observation.

I’ve heard people express fears that the gender imbalance in favor of males in China will lead to a more aggressive, warlike China. I think it’s rather likely to be the opposite. In a Confucian society largely without non-familial social safety nets will parents be inclined to send their sons, their only children, off to war?

Jeff Jacoby today has a column about the same article.

The war against baby girls has spread to South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan, to the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and even to Asian-American communities in the United States. And if you think that the antidote to this “gendercide’’ is modernization, better living standards, and more education, think again.

“It is not the country’s poorest but its richest who are eliminating baby girls at the highest rate, regardless of religion or caste,’’ the Times of London reported in 2007. “Delhi’s leafiest suburbs have among the lowest ratio of girls to boys in India, while the two states with the absolute lowest ratio are those with the highest per-capita income: Punjab and Haryana.’’ Similarly in China, the higher a province’s literacy rate or income per head, the more skewed its sexual disparities.

Another place where there’s an extreme gender imbalance is in the Persian Gulf kingdoms as you can see from this table. It’s been pointed out to me, that in the Persian Gulf, at least some (maybe all) of the imbalance may be due to the importation of foreign workers.