Female Fetus Killing Picture this, you are at the doctors and you have just found out that you are pregnant, so many ideas and feelings will run through your body. However, not all people react with excitement in most third world countries this can either be a happy moment or the dawn before the pain. At the beginning of history you can see that infanticide has been carried out. From prehistoric times to the times of many great empires, the deaths of infants were accepted as a way to regulate the population.
Many families left the decision to the father as to whether or not they kept the child or left it by the side if the rode in hopes a civilian would rescue the infant. This paper will focus on the female infanticide being practiced in India. Female infanticide refers to the intentional killing of the female fetus or infant females with the hopes of someday having a son that will benefit the family. The difference that this paper will look at is why the families choose to selectively kill their female offspring versus their male.
The major problem associated with selective killing of the female falls with the lack of women to marry the abundance of males in the country. Moreover, the selective killing of the female fetus show the lack of status a female holds in third world countries. The question would be how do women in third world countries commit this horrific crime. It is easier than we think the support from the doctors and the lack of punishment by governmental officials make this gendercide the norm in several third world countries.
The doctors found that they can make a money profit by performing amniocentesis testing for women who wanted to know the gender of their unborn child. According to Karlekar, M. (1993), states that after the parents find out the gender of the unborn child they make a decision on whether or not they will keep the child. The women are often times ridiculed for producing female children and can be disowned by their husbands if they fail to produce a male child.
Therefore, these women often go to the doctors alone to find out the sex of the baby and if the child is to be born a female the women will leave and with the help of older women in the village to perform abortions of the fetus. Female infanticide is considered to be one of the most brutal and destructive forms of sexual bias, which relates closely to sex selective abortions. The fact that the female fetuses are aborted more often than males is because most of the third world countries are patriarchal.
According to Bhatnagar, R. , Dube, R. and Dube, R. 2005), twelve million girls are born every year in India, however only nine million will survive to age fifteen years old. The reality of the situation is that the female embryo, infant, girl or women is in danger her whole life in India. The authors also pointed out that one of the major reasons the women cite as to why they commit the crime is to prevent their poor families from paying relatively high dowry amounts to husband of their daughters. Yet the research done by the author shows that the average family that participates in the female infanticide owns land and has a substantial amount of money.
The cause of the gendercide is based loosely on the low status of the women in India. The parents who choose to kill their female child often feel justified that they are securing a future for themselves in old age. Males are often the ones who work out in the towns as sales men and sharecroppers and are paid to marry others daughters. While these all seem like good to the outside world in reality the women are capable of preforming all of these minus getting a dowry for marriage.
However, the parents feel that because once the female is married she moves away and is now part of her husband’s family leaving her family to fend for themselves. The opposite is true for the males they will forever be a part of their families. However, this does not justify the fact that the parents are making a selfish decision when killing female fetuses. How female infanticide affects males in India? The male to female ratio in India is drastically uneven. According to Jones, A. (2002), in 1991 there were 992 girls to every 1000 boys in rural India.
This number continues to decrease leaving the males with fewer choices of females to marry. The males are often even fed first and medical care is definitely more prevalent for males. Because there is a shortage of females often times many males will go unmarried and many families with female children will have to pay a high amount for the dowry. Although the selective fetal abortion is illegal in India many males encourage their wives to participate in the practices and the government never prosecutes the women.
In conclusion, female infanticide is a horrible manifestation of the anti-female bias. This infanticide will continue to destroy third world countries until the government takes this gendercide serious. Even with the advancement of technologically female infanticide has continued to advance with doctors using it as a profit market. If the doctors and government do not educate the families about the effects of the brutal practices the numbers will continue to decrease.
We also have to take into consideration that in order to combat the phenomenon, we have to carefully consider the location and specific and cultural factors leading to the practice.