Distorted sex ratios and population dynamics: the issue of gender-based prenatal sex selection in Southeastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus
ESC Congress Library. Kostenzer J. 05/28/14; 50543; A-128 Disclosure(s): Management Center Innsbruck, University of Innsbruck
Ms. Johanna Kostenzer
Ms. Johanna Kostenzer
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Abstract
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1. Objectives
Highly distorted sex ratios of up to 120 male per 100 female births could be observed in many countries across the globe and most recently also in Southeastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus. The aim of this project is to elaborate the current situation of male preference and prenatal sex selection in the region. The reasons for prenatal discrimination as well as the effects on population dynamics and other potential consequences will be discussed.


2. Method
Intensive literature review including qualitative as well as quantitative studies available and the analysis of international census data is the main choice of method. In addition, analysis of reports of international organizations and participation at international conferences was part of the research to observe the international community's viewpoint and the global consequences of prenatal discrimination.


3. Results
The analysis of national census data has shown that the imbalance of sex ratios has increased which is due to a preference for male offspring, decreasing family size and family-balancing mechanisms. Patriarchal family systems and the lower social status of women in society make parents prefer boys over girls. In addition, appearing new technologies have made sex determination and induced abortion cheaper and available even in rural areas. In Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, prenatal discrimination has already led to an imbalance in sex ratios for the population under 15 years. Without intervention the continuing discrimination will lead to distorted sex ratios in the overall population causing severe consequences for future generations. The intended killings of female fetuses raise numerous concerns. The violation of human rights and the promotion of gender inequality constitute key factors in this context. Increasing violence, psychological issues and trafficking in girls and women are further consequences which need to be dealt with.


4. Conclusions
Gender-based prenatal sex selection in Southeastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus is due to a combination of discriminating social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Intervention in the region is still lacking behind compared to affected Asian countries making further action and a stronger involvement of the international community inevitable.

1. Objectives
Highly distorted sex ratios of up to 120 male per 100 female births could be observed in many countries across the globe and most recently also in Southeastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus. The aim of this project is to elaborate the current situation of male preference and prenatal sex selection in the region. The reasons for prenatal discrimination as well as the effects on population dynamics and other potential consequences will be discussed.


2. Method
Intensive literature review including qualitative as well as quantitative studies available and the analysis of international census data is the main choice of method. In addition, analysis of reports of international organizations and participation at international conferences was part of the research to observe the international community's viewpoint and the global consequences of prenatal discrimination.


3. Results
The analysis of national census data has shown that the imbalance of sex ratios has increased which is due to a preference for male offspring, decreasing family size and family-balancing mechanisms. Patriarchal family systems and the lower social status of women in society make parents prefer boys over girls. In addition, appearing new technologies have made sex determination and induced abortion cheaper and available even in rural areas. In Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, prenatal discrimination has already led to an imbalance in sex ratios for the population under 15 years. Without intervention the continuing discrimination will lead to distorted sex ratios in the overall population causing severe consequences for future generations. The intended killings of female fetuses raise numerous concerns. The violation of human rights and the promotion of gender inequality constitute key factors in this context. Increasing violence, psychological issues and trafficking in girls and women are further consequences which need to be dealt with.


4. Conclusions
Gender-based prenatal sex selection in Southeastern Europe and the Southern Caucasus is due to a combination of discriminating social, political, economic and cultural conditions. Intervention in the region is still lacking behind compared to affected Asian countries making further action and a stronger involvement of the international community inevitable.

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