Asian Boy Bias Skewing US Birth Stats

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 15, 2009 4:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Many Asian American parents' strong bias for sons is beginning to emerge in US birth statistics, reports the New York Times.  Chinese, Korean and Indian immigrant families are more likely to abort female embryos and use in-vitro fertilization to have a treasured boy, particularly after the first or second daughter, say experts. No similar basis was detected among Japanese American families in census figures.

Though it's common for immigrants to transplant birth patterns to a new country, many observers are shocked that the boy bias has continued so strongly. “That this is going on in the US—people were blown away,” said Prof. Lena Edlund of Columbia University. Sons are crucial to families in China. “Inheritance is carried through the male line,” said one expert. “Families depend on the male child for support.” The boy bias may fade with further assimilation, say observers.

Chinese, Korean and Indian immigrants are more likely to use sex selection to have a son, particularly after a first or second daughter, statistics show.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Boy oh boy.   (©Emery Co Photo)
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Culturally, there are a lot of strange things that go on in the world. Whether we agree with it, it’s not harming anyone. - Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, a California fertility specialist who deals with parents' requests for sex selection

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