IRD researchers find evidence of selective births in Vietnam

The past five years in Viet Nam have seen a progressive increase in the proportion of male births owing to a rise in selective abortions. This has recently been proved by a joint investigation by an Institute de Recherche pour le Development (IRD) researcher and Vietnamese partners.

Asian countries have long been known for their population age old practice of selective births. Where male babies were favored against female babies. Population scientists claim China is missing quite a few million females, as a result of deep-rooted, at least in rural social environments, of selective birth traditions.

In the case of Vietnam, researchers analyzed datas from annual demographic surveys conducted since 2000, involving 450 000 Vietnamese women, along with others from two surveys in 2007 and 2008 studying 1.1 million births.

In Vietnam, since 2004, the sex ratio at birth has been gradually increasing. In 2005, there were 108 boys born per 100 births of girls. This figure reached 112 in 2006, significantly higher than the standard biological level of 105. In this lies the expression of active manipulation of the proportion of the sexes at birth, by way of selective abortions to the detriment of female births.

The marked preference for boys and prenatal determination of the sex of the child are tendencies that have been well known in Asia for the past 20 years. However, this is the first time they have been demonstrated in Vietnam. Although the trend is recent in that country, it is occurring just as rapidly


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