Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2011 A Slate Best Book of 2011 A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2011 Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don't seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed se Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize A Wall Street Jou...

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Title:Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
Author:Mara Hvistendahl
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:B004ZGRPH6
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:338 pages pages

Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men Reviews

  • Jafar
    Jun 27, 2011
    I had heard about families selecting for male babies in India and China, but this book turned out to be more informative and eye-opening than I expected, not just about the problem of societies with more men than women, but population control in general. It?s well known now that in A...
  • Danny
    Aug 16, 2011
    I wanted to like this more than I did. On the one hand, Hvistendahl identifies a startling phenomenon, widespread sex-selective abortion, that raises a host of troubling ethical and practical issues. She is to be credited for bringing these issues to light. But I found her analysis ...
  • Jeff Scott
    Oct 13, 2011
    Mara Hvistenfahl makes the claim, resting on cultural history and western technology, that there are millions of women missing from the world because of abortion and sex selection. I'm not convinced that selective abortion is the culprit here. Although the author points out ultraso...
  • David
    Dec 17, 2011
    This is a fascinating, well-written, and dare I say "must-read" book. There are 160 million Asian women missing, as Hvistendahl puts it. This is more women than live in the entire United States. The culprit, she argues, is sex-selective abortion. She documents how as technologies s...
  • Kiersten
    Aug 31, 2011
    This book brought a very interesting, very troubling problem to light, but I had some major problems with it. First of all, I felt like Hvistendahl spent a huge amount of time trying to say that cultural practices and gender preference in Asian countries (mostly--some eastern European ...
  • Terry
    Mar 18, 2016
    I definitely credit BookReads Read Harder Challenge for steering me toward books I would probably never have otherwise read. A hat-tip must also go to the site Feminist Texican Reads, who created a recommended-reading list specifically of feminist books for each category--it's been so ...
  • Marya
    Aug 16, 2011
    Hvistendahl is a good journalist who vividly paints the whole sordid backstory of Western complicity in Asian sex selection practices (usually abortion, and usually coerced). She also takes theorists to task for their portrayal of sex selection as an exclusively Asian practice that has...
  • Christina
    Jan 19, 2012
    160 million -- that's how many missing women there are in Asia due to sex-selection abortion. This book was fascinating to read, though quite flawed in some of its premises and conclusions. Interestingly enough, the phenomenon is not happening in most Asian countries when a couple h...
  • Shana
    Oct 03, 2012
    This book offers a wealth of information on the over-population and demographics debate since the 1950's. Hvistendahl tears apart the notion that sex-selected abortions in Asia are simply an ugly cultural phenomenon, and gives objective, evidence based arguments to the contrary. The tr...
  • Elaine Nelson
    Jun 10, 2011
    I don't remember exactly what bugged me about this book (since I read it several months ago), but what I do remember is (a) author had some sort of hobby-horse (abortion, I think?) and (b) I found myself reading the book about the history of Superman instead. And I'm not really into Su...
  • Dreamybee
    May 09, 2012
    This book is making me stabby! Every few pages I have to set it down and make some out-loud remarks about the whole f-ed up situation and how it got that way. The fact that I'm usually alone probably makes me look a little crazy, but at least I haven't been reading in public! A few ...
  • Stephanie
    Sep 21, 2011
    Have you thought about gender ratios? Untampered with, the gender ratio tends to be 105:100; 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. Eventually, that ratio tends to even out since boys are more likely to meet untimely deaths. Nature has it all figured out. Now, in many developing cou...
  • Alexis
    Oct 29, 2015
    While this book is worth reading, it has some fundamental weaknesses that make it dificult to take as definitive. The underlying theory is that sex selection has appeared in culturally disparate areas, increased at a similar rate, and all in a relatively short time frame. This cannot b...
  • Caren
    Jul 03, 2011
    This is a thoroughly researched, well-written expose on the current preponderance of males in some Asian and Eastern European countries. The author ties this current trend to the hysteria in the West in the late 1960s and 1970s over overpopulation, and to the ways in which internationa...
  • Lindsey
    Aug 20, 2012
    Disappointing book about an interesting issue. The author pretty much blames the west for pushing population control and technology on the countries in question. While I do think the first world's desire to control population in other parts of the world is detrimental, the author serio...
  • Agatha
    Oct 01, 2012
    Recommended. Has won the following awards: Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, A Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2011, A Slate Best Book of 2011, A Discover Magazine Best Book of 2011. Author is a science writer and some bits were too data...
  • Alison
    Aug 03, 2011
    What I wanted from this book was a historical, scientific, and sociological examination of global practices of sex selection. Hvistendahl could've delivered that based on the merits of her exhaustive research alone. But her argument is weakened by a pervasively moralizing tone directed...
  • Tamara
    Sep 30, 2011
    Fascinating examination of sex selection, abortion and family size. Hvistendahl does a good job in poking a flashlight into the different, murky corners of the issue, thought there aren't any obvious answers. I was taught, like a good geographer, the solid old model of demographic tran...
  • Shoshana G
    Nov 26, 2016
    This was super depressing and everyone should read it and then maybe we can figure out how to fix it. I was totally right about this in college debate. ...
  • Sarah
    Sep 19, 2013
    This was an excellent and very eye-opening book. I was aware of the gender imbalance in China, but I had no idea how extensive it is throughout the world ? in India, Eastern Europe, and other places. Over 160 million women are now missing in Asia alone (greater than the whole female ...
  • Eva
    Jul 16, 2014
    Kindle quotes: Back then women were so proud to own refrigerators that they crocheted dust covers for them and placed the appliances in the living room. (Then too most Chinese apartments had kitchens so small that refrigerators did not fit anywhere else.) - location 43 The anci...
  • Haynews
    Jul 07, 2011
    Enlightening book on a subject that does not receive much attention. This book goes beyond political views of choice to expose the truly horrific global epidemic of sex selective abortion. ...
  • Kelsey
    Jun 10, 2011
    This book very neatly summarizes a problem that most people are completely unaware even exists. Namely, that sex-selective abortion in Asia has taken enough girls out of the population to skew the global sex ration at birth from its usual 105 boys to 100 girls to nearer 107::100. H...
  • Alex Konieczny
    Jun 26, 2011
    I'll giver it to Mara Hvistendahl, this is a well researched book. It is thoroughly interesting. It is well written. The problem of sex selection, while not nearly fleshed out to the extent I would have liked her to, is a valid concern. However Hvistendahl doesn't make a case for it be...
  • Michelle
    Jul 25, 2011
    Sex selection, and its consequence of skewed population sex ratios, which has been sweeping major Asian countries over the past few decades, is an issue that simultaneously receives not enough attention in some quarters and then too much in others. Reproductive rights activists in the ...
  • Hayley DeRoche
    Apr 02, 2014
    Good up until the last 15 pages when suddenly it's all OH BTW IVF IS ALLOWING RICH YUPPIES TO CHOOSE GIRLS OH NO. Yes, this is a problem, I'm not denying that. But IVF is a legitimate fix to a legitimate medical problem, and it kind of glosses the fuck over that. People using it in eth...
  • Dhruvi Chauhan
    May 29, 2013
    Unnatural Selection was eye-opening and completely heart breaking. It is true that there are a lot of issues in this world that people don't really want to face, especially when the topic is a global concern. But I think reading a book like this can help fight that despicable stigma th...
  • Ellen
    Mar 13, 2013
    I was very excited to read this book, but very disappointed. The topic is very important, but the research is shoddy, to say the least. Full of unsupported assertions. Things like labeling concerns about overpopulation "overpopulation hysteria." Whose to say that those concerns were no...
  • Nore
    Feb 07, 2015
    How to organize my thoughts on this.... Sex selective abortion is an issue. Choosing male fetuses over female fetuses is highly dangerous for us in the long run (but not just because men are uncontrollable hormonal monsters, like Hvistendahl seems to present - but seriously, Hvisten...
  • Beverly
    Oct 24, 2017
    This unfolds the terrifying future of a world with more men than women, because of the cheaply and widely availability of ultrasounds in the 1980s. At the same time women in India and China came under restrictions from their governments to only have 1 child, many selected to abort fema...