Girls R Us: Sex Selection, Sound Bites and Weak Data
I finally got around to reading Hanna Rosin’s article, “The End of Men
,” which ran in the Atlantic Monthly
in July/August this year. I’d heard some of the noise about the piece back then and figured that like other members of the genre (e.g., Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man
, or John Horgan’s The End of Science
) the title served more as a provocation than a believable prognostication – Fukuyama published in 1992 and Horgan in 1996, and last I checked, history and science are still ginning along.
I was actually kind of sorry to find that I was right. I’m not going to take on Rosin’s overarching argument about the ascendancy of women on a post-industrial planet, mainly because where to start? Despite a few nods to trends in Korea, India, and China, her optic is white, 1-per-centish, and American. But I am going to take apart her claim that there is a global shift afoot that is “eroding the historical preference for male children,” which is based mostly on, it...