Myths- Reality


Breaking Myths and misconceptions about Sex Selection 

 

Less girls, more demand, their status will improve

Contrary to what many believe, lesser number of girls in a society will not enhance their status. Instead, in places where sex selection is rampant, there can be an increase in violence against women, rape, abduction, trafficking and onset of practices such as polyandry.
According to the demand-supply logic, women would be not easily replaceable and scarce commodities. But how do we forget the socio cultural milieu in which women live! The society that is responsible for the subordination of women will not treat them in a more humane way simply because they are in scarce supply. On the contrary, the incidences of violence and forced polyandry are likely to go which are currently only seen in some villages of Punjab and Haryana.


Sex selection is justified if you have two or more daughters


The notion that only couples with two or more daughters are going in for sex selection and therefore does not affect the overall child sex ratio is misleading. In fact, data indicates that even for the first-born, there is a preference for a male child. This trend is even more noticeable where the first-born is a girl.
 If dowry exists, sex selection cannot be stopped


Sex selection is not a solution to dowry – the system of dowry will continue as long as people look upon daughters as a liability. What is important is to address the root cause for the subordinate status of women in the society.

Better to eliminate daughters than to let them suffer an unjust existence


The thought that it is more humane to eliminate a female foetus than subjugate her to a life of discrimination does not hold water. By the same logic, it would be justifiable to eliminate poor people than let them suffer a life of poverty and deprivation. The girl child is not the problem, the practice of sex selection is.
 A mother has the right to choose the sex of her child


Another misleading notion is that banning sex selection amounts to denying a mother her unalienable right to choose the sex of her child. Choice in the absence of autonomy is no choice. Fears of violence and rejection/desertion and also the desire to establish one’s value in the family often pressurize women into opting for sex selection.
 Sex selection helps to control population


The argument that sex selection is an effective tool for controlling population is misplaced. We want population stabilization for improving quality of life. This is the ultimate goal. If along the way we resort to things that damage our quality of life,
is that desirable?
 A question of economics, not discrimination


Traditionally, women are not expected to work outside home. Economic dependence renders them vulnerable on the one hand, while on the other being considered as a liability further adds to their subordination. They are considered as ‘paraya dhan’
requiring dowry to be married and sent away. However, none of these factors and conditions are a given. The factors that lead to women being perceived as economic liability can be changed with investment in their education and skills, women and
girls can very much be as independent as men and boys given the opportunity and support their families in a number of ways.

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