Criminology is the scientific study of the nature, extent, causes, and control of criminal behavior in both the individual and in society. As shocking and disturbing as this behavior is, however, we must look highest sex ratio in punjab in within its cultural context. A trickier issue is sex-selective abortion. Sex-selective abortion poses a genuine conundrum for those who support reproductive choice.
On one hand, proponents of choice do not want to see a discussion of abortion in a chapter on victimization. On the other hand, many people who support reproductive choice are uncomfortable when it is applied selectively to females. Below I describe two cultures where both sex-selective abortion and female infanticide have been documented: China and India. While infanticide occurs for different reasons, the cultures have similarities. Both cultures also count on their sons to care for their aged. Daughters marry out and are no longer members of their families of origin. For this reason, daughters are considered more a liability than a blessing.
Many times, infanticide and sex-selection in abortion are secretive, and even illegal, actions. Official reports may dramatically underestimate their incidence. On the other hand, many of the statistics and case reports provided by advocacy or relief organizations focus on more extreme cases. The true number is probably somewhere in between. To get an overall view of the problem, however, one statistic is helpful: the ratio of male to female births.
Birth Planning in China In 1979, China implemented a highly intrusive policy to limit the number of births per family. Government workers monitor families for birth control use and tell couples when they are authorized to conceive. The policy was implemented because of the enormous size of the Chinese population. The government’s policy, however, runs counter to the family traditions of the Chinese people. In Chinese society, sons are the means of continuity, prosperity, and the only valid source of care and support.