Thanks to sex selection, areas of China and India are set to see a 10%-20% excess of males over the next two decades, a study finds. The nations' preference for boys, coupled with the increasing use of ultrasound equipment over the past 20 years, is tipping the scales, reports the Los Angeles Times. Left to nature, some 105 boys are born per 100 girls; in some parts of China it’s become 130 to 100.
While abortion for sex selection is banned in the countries, the rule isn’t much enforced, the Times notes. Birth order is a factor, the study finds: when girls are born first or second, families frequently turn to sex selection to have a boy third. The fallout? More men will have trouble getting married, and violence and psychological issues may climb, the study says. While there’s no way to “reduce the current excess of young males,” researchers note, “much can be done to reduce sex selection now, which will benefit the next generation.”