If you were asked to name the technologies whose proliferation inadvertently threatens the human race, what would you include? Landmines? Assault rifles? Nuclear warheads?
Add this one to your list: the sonogram machine.
The widespread use of sonogram technology—coupled with liberal abortion laws—has made it easier than ever for women to identify the sex of their child so that those without a Y chromosome can be killed before they’re even born.
The effects of this war on baby girls can be clearly seen in the changes in sex ratios at birth. As demographer Nicholas Eberstadt explains, there is a “slight but constant and almost unvarying excess of baby boys over baby girls born in any population.” The number of baby boys born for every hundred baby girls, which is so constant that it can “qualify as a rule of nature,” falls along an extremely narrow range along the order of 103, 104 or 105. On rare occasions it even hovers around 106.
These sex ratios vary slightly based on ethnicity. For example, rates in the U.S. in 1984 were as follows: White: 105.4; Black: 103.1; American Indian: 101.4; Chinese: 104.6; and Japanese 102.6. Such variations, however, remain small and fairly stable over time.
But Eberstadt finds that during the last generation, the sex ratio at birth in some parts of the world have become “completely unhinged.” Consider this graph he provides, showing the provinces in China in 2000: